On and off switches

There’s a lot of hurrumphing about the variable form of certain English players going on at the moment. Both Steve Harmison and Marcus Trescothick have been subject to media speculation over the last few days.

Trescothick would be the player whom England would have more cause to worry about. It is true that he will probably turn it around, but I wonder how much patience the English selectors will show with him in Australia. I suspect that will depend greatly on how England’s fortunes are faring. If he has two ordinary Tests, and England are also 0-2, then his place will be under some serious scrutiny.

Harmison though, well, he’s been temporamental all his career, has he not? Australian fans have seen the same sort of thing from Brett Lee. I remember vividly last summer that in the space of four days, he went from terrifying the New Zealanders at Auckland to getting smashed by them in Wellington. Australian fans know that if he’s switched on, he’ll make mincemeat of the batsmen, and if he’s not, he’ll get carted.

Fast bowlers are especially prone to having such wild fluctuations in form. It is a reflection that everything has to be ‘just right’ with them, both physically and mentally, for them to be successful. Fans need to be patient with them.

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