Wed, Nov 29, 2006 - Page 18 News List

England looking to reignite Harmison's fire

REPAIRING THE HARM England bowling coach Kevin Shine will try to help the Durham bowler find some form after his poor showing in the first Test in Brisbane

AFP , ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

English pace bowler Steve Harmison gets ready for a training session in the nets at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.

PHOTO: EPA

The ASHES 2006/2007Steve Harmison arrived here yesterday and went straight to the nets for remedial work as England coach Duncan Fletcher considers picking two spinners for Friday's second Ashes cricket Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.

Pace spearhead Harmison was a major disappointment as England was hammered by 277 runs in the first Test on Monday and he has three days to turn things around before the series resumes.

Fletcher spoke yesterday about playing both left-arm spinners, Ashley Giles and Monty Panesar, on the Adelaide pitch and if he carries that through one of the three seamers will have to go.

Bowling coach Kevin Shine accompanied the misfiring bowler to the Adelaide Oval nets yesterday to work on technical drills.

He hoped to get the 28-year-old Durham speedster, who has 180 Test wickets, back in bowling synch, after he spectacularly imploded at the Brisbane Test, starting with a ballooning wide in his first delivery.

"Shiney wants to work on a one-to-one basis with Steve Harmison, they have been working on a couple of things, a few technical drills and he's pretty confident he can try and improve Steve's bowling," Fletcher told reporters.

"He didn't want a batsman, he just wanted to go through a few technical drills and Steve seemed to appreciate Shiney's help on the last morning of the Gabba Test [in the nets]."

As a statement of England's intent to hold on to the Ashes, Harmison's spluttering form could not have come at a worse time.

Harmison took just one wicket for 123 runs in Australia's mammoth first innings of 609 for nine declared and came away from the Test with the match analysis of one wicket for 177 runs.

"He's got a pretty complex action and he finds it difficult to control it at times and on that occasion he wasn't able to control it for that [first] spell," Fletcher said. "He's just got to pick himself up, that's why he worked this afternoon and hopefully he'll sort a few of the problems out."

Fletcher gave every indication that he wants England to play with two spinners, and if that is the case, then it looks likely that either Harmison or James Anderson, who went for 1-195 in the Brisbane Test, will miss out this week.

"We just have to look at the side and see if there's a chance that we can play with two spinners," he said. "It was definitely in our minds when we arrived in Australia that there are some wickets, this could be one of them, where we could go in with two spinners. We just have to look at the best balance we think the side will be to beat Australia in the second Test."

"It could be with two spinners, it could be with a bowling attack where Harmison could bowl well, Matthew Hoggard and Jimmy Anderson bowl well in the nets, and then we have a problem of who to leave out if we go in with two spinners," Fletcher added.

Fletcher is confident Shine, who replaced Australian Troy Cooley as the team's bowling coach after last year's Ashes series, can fix Harmison's gremlins.

"We've spoken to a lot of people to try and get him right but we have to be very careful that we work him one way and when everyone else is coming from all sorts of angles," he added."It's not an easy thing to fix fast bowlers and if we go in with a whole lot of people coming in and out then it could become very confusing and then you have a bigger problem."

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