The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steve Harmison is a bit of an enigma: Hussain

Sydney: Young fast bowler Steve Harmison is an asset for England even though he can sometimes look very average, captain Nasser Hussain said on Tuesday.

Harmison, 24, bowled nine wides as he finished with no wicket for 59 in England’s 31-run defeat by Sri Lanka in the tri-series tie in Sydney on Monday.

The Durham paceman also dropped two simple catches and gave a woeful performance in the field. On Saturday, Harmison, who has been picked in the World Cup squad, bowled 11 wides as England lost to Australia by 7 runs in Hobart.

“He’s a difficult one. He’s a bit of an enigma at the moment,” Hussain said. “If things go don’t throw your arms up in the air just because he dropped a catch... don’t blame him for everything, (you) work with him all the time. He’s an asset to English cricket.

“He has the potential of being very good and he needs his captain’s and his coach’s support when he has difficult days,” said Hussain.

“He also has the potential of looking very average... he must make sure he tries to take all of those opportunities.

“We could take the easy option and leave him out but we might go back to a level we were before. By getting him right, that’s the only way we’ll go up to a different level.”

Hussain said England would work with Harmison in the nets to correct his tendency to bowl down leg-side and added that the lanky fast bowler could be a threat to opposition batsmen on the hard pitches of South Africa in next month’s World Cup.

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