The Aussies are hard at work for England too.
Harmison could have disappeared
REUTERS, LONDON, June 17
If strike bowler Steve Harmison had been born a few years earlier, he would probably have disappeared without trace.
Around Durham, he would have earned a name for himself as a young tearaway who, for a few seasons at least, frightened rather than dismissed batsmen.
But he would never have got to Dhaka, Sydney or Jamaica. He would never have boasted figures of 12.3-8-12-7 at Sabina Park, and West Indies would not have been dismissed for 47, the lowest test total in their history.
He would probably, indeed, have been about as famous as Troy Cooley.
The Australian was once a genuinely quick but wild bowler. A bit, in fact, like the young Harmison.
He played for Tasmania, on and off, for around 10 years, struggling with overstepping and injuries, before calling it a day in 1995.
Ironically Cooley, as England bowling coach, is today feeding Harmison the biomechanical expertise, backed up by technological analysis, which he himself could have profited from.
The results have been extraordinary.
When Harmison first played for England less than two years ago, he was red-raw.
His arms??long levers,? Cooley calls them?swung to left and right, he had a ragged jump at the crease and was not strong enough to stop his pelvis tilting as he landed. He failed to cock his wrist and the ball sprayed everywhere.
?He had a bit of a balance problem,? said Cooley. ?At his size, you need to be stable.?
The unstable Harmison was dropped after one game.
On his return, he was soon being presented as a figure of fun for scatter-gunning eight wides in a single over in a tour match in Australia in 2002-3.
Cooley, however, who would soon replace Graham Dilley as England?s bowling coach, was excited. ?Yes, I definitely saw he had something special?I mean, he is six feet five inches (1.95 metres) tall. When you add the length of his arm, the ball is coming down from out of the clouds.
?And he was getting it right occasionally.?