Sunday, September 24, 2006

Former Aussie skipper, and Shane Warne's buddy, Ian Chappell has fired a broadside at fast bowler Steve Harmison, signalling the Aussies intent to get under his skin.

Chappell stated 'so much depends on how Steve Harmison bowls' and referred to some of his bowling against Pakistan this summer as 'crap'. Harmison is a prime candidate for sledging from the convicts due to his home-sickness. Chappell does have a point though; if Harmison fires on all cylinders chances are Australia's batsmen won't be able to cope.
Does this then signal that the plan is to attack Harmison's bowling, as the South Africans did a couple of winters ago? During the 2005 Ashes series in England they treated him with respect. Maybe their plan is just to un-nerve him hoping his radar will go on the blink. In the third test at Perth, Harmison will be the man to watch for sure. Perth is the fastest, bounciest wicket in the world. If Harmison can find his line and length, expect to see carnage.
Meanwhile in Kuala Lumpur the Aussie pace men dismissed the Windies for 113. The 4 pronged Aussie pace attack proved to much for Lara and his men. Brett Lee took another 4 wickets, whilst Nathan Bracken impressed the selectors with 7-0-15-3. Bracken will most likely be competing with fellow left armer Mitchell Johnson for a regular place in the World Cup 2007 squad. Johnson returns for the ICC Champions Trophy.
Both men will have their eye on a berth in the Ashes. Watson will have to do much better with the bat if he is to play test cricket again. With intense competition for one bowling place he can only merit selection ahead of Symonds in the batting all-rounder's slot at number 6 or 7. Watson has the edge with the ball, having a couple of yards of pace over Symonds, but is still short of runs.


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