Steve Harmison? Who is He?

by : ashish

The Ashes series of 2005 seem a distant memory compared to the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of the old enemy, Australia, in 2006.

But the most memorable moment of that Ashes series brought the begining of the end of one of England's 2005 Ashes Heroes, Steve Harmison.

Who can remember the first ball he bowled? Yes, that famous ball which travelled all the way to third slip. It was a bad omen, and ever since then Harmison has never been able to recover.

After a six month break, one would expect Harmison to reach better form, but yet again he failed to do much, especially in the series against the ragged West Indies team. He constantly bowled wides and no-balls, the extras column kept ticking over like a clock. Yes, he got a few wickets but it was not the same Harmison that we witnessed in 2005 when he could blast the ball at 90 mph. It was not the same Harmison that troubled batsmen regardless of stature, this was a Harmison which had rocked down the same alleyway as Andrew Strauss.

He was rested for the series against India, which England lost 1-0. It is a bitter irony that a team with a poor form bowler can win a match, yet a team with a better bowler lose a match.

Recently England landed in Sri Lanka for what was to be a tougth tour, Muralitharan is looking to break Shane Warne's record and Harmison is looking for better form. But on the day of the match against the Board's XI things did not go his way, his bowling shoes did not arrive and when he finally got to bowl he did not do much. Again continous wides and no-balls.

However, England drew that match and we can look forward to the test series.

But what worries me that in a few years time, if Harmison does not improve,he will eventually disappear into the horizon.

Imagine that in 10 years, a child will ask his father after reading a 2007 Wisden edition, 'Who Is Steve Harmison?'

The father will reply but his reply will depend on what Harmison does from now to the end of his career...