Harmison’s contribution to the Ashes

I still haven’t written my review of the Ashes, and I’m quickly realising that I may never. Others have done it for me, and I don’t really know how to summarise an entire series into a few words. I’m still, relatively, suffering an Ashes hangover; and no amount of Paracetamol or Aspirin is helping. Sorry for that ridiculous metaphor.

However, S Rajesh from Cricinfo reminds me of one point I was keen to make in my review-which-will-never-be: Harmison’s body-blows:

The body blow
Harmison didn’t end the series with a huge tally of wickets, but he did have the pleasure of hitting the Australian batsmen on the body the most number of times. He did that on 20 occasions, that’s three more than the number of wickets he managed. Flintoff was next in line with 14 hits, as many as Lee, Australia’s top hit-man.

The batsman who suffered the most was Langer, who braved ten blows to the body, two more than Pietersen. In all, England won the hit-on-the body contest quite handily too – their bowlers inflicted 43 blows, and their batsmen suffered only 26: another result which would have been unimaginable a couple of years ago.

All the way back at Lord’s, Scott wrote at 11.26am:

And now he’s hit Ponting with a bouncer and the helmet has cut Ponting’s cheek.

You have to be some bowler to hit Ponting when he’s going for his favoured pull shot. I’ve seen most of Ponting’s innings, and that’s the second time I’ve seen him hit; the other time was by Pakistan’s Mohammad Sami, in Sharjah. That could have been really bad, because Ponting was batting in his cap, due to the extreme heat.

And it was this which set the summer alive, in my eyes at least. Harmison was on fire for the first Test – a roaring, dangerous bush fire if you like. For the rest of the series, he was more of a flickering candle-flame: nasty at times, and likely to spit hot wax, but…

What am I talking about? God, I need to turn this fecking machine off.

You catch my drift, anyway.