Back in Contention

If your first-class career is still in its early stages and you're averaging nearly 70, scoring just 7 and 8 in a match must pull you up a bit short. All in all, it's unlikely that Phil Hughes's double failure at Worcester will have a serious effect on his confidence, but the manner of both his dismissals - caught close in dealing poorly with short balls - is sure to cause some interest among England's bowlers and some concern in the Australian camp.

The bowler who delivered both those balls, Steve Harmison, is another man in an interesting position. After a distinctly average winter it was assumed in some quarters that England's future lay without him, and this may still be the case. But with what he's done at Worcester you wouldn't be at all surprised to see his name at least in contention for a place in Wednesday's side, although, as Harmison himself has said, if England do play two spinners it's hard to see how he'll fit into the team.

Others, such as Graham Onions, would offer more consistency but less pace and hostility, but Harmison has laid a powerful marker down over the last few days at Worcester.

The trouble, as ever, is that no-one can be sure how he's going to bowl on any given day, but that might just be a risk worth taking.


Thiru Cumaran said...

I did watch the beginning of the second Aussie innings, mainly to check out Hughesy. It did look quite ridoncuolous (Hoggy's responsible for that!) that he was struggling so much against the short ball and doesn't have a leg-side game...I've commented more than enough about this on my blog, but I hope that they don't lose their focus on the other batsmen!

Brian Carpenter said...

Thanks, Tragic. I agree, Hughes looks iffy in several areas, but the feeling up to now has been that you can't argue with the number of runs he's made. It's still early days, though.

I haven't seen him in the flesh yet but will do so at Lord's, which'll be interesting.

Thiru Cumaran said...

Cool, hope you can pass on some secrets to Anderson & Co. while watching the game! ;)

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