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What makes Steve Harmison so good?
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A graphic of Steve Harmison's steep bounce

International cricket wasn't this easy for Steve Harmison a few years ago.

He once sent down seven wides in one over bowling for England in a tour match in Australia in 2002.

And then there were his constant injury problems - if he wasn't on the cricket pitch he was probably in the physio's room.

Thanks to his height (he's 6ft 5in), Harmison has batsmen hopping and jumping all over the crease because of his awkward bounce.

Add that to his pace - he regularly clocks up 90mph on the speed gun - and you've got a seriously dangerous bowler on your hands.

Steve Harmison bowls for England during a training session
Stand tall Steve

The talent was always there, it was just a matter of getting everything right at the same time.

The big change came during the winter of 2003 when Harmison trained with Newcastle United, the football team he has supported since he was a kid.

But rather than belt a few goals alongside Alan Shearer, Harmison worked specifically on his fitness, building the muscles used for bowling to make him stronger.

He also worked hard on adjusting his bowling action, standing upright in his delivery stride rather than falling away in his follow through.

Long gone are the days of the erratic radar, he's homed in on that tight off-stump line all batsmen hate.

He's fast becoming England's answer to Glenn McGrath...

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Steve Harmison

Stephen James Harmison factfile
Born: 23 October 1978
Birthplace: Ashington, Northumberland
Height: 6ft 5in
Teams: Durham CCC, England
Bowling: Right-arm fast
Batting: Right hand
England Test debut: India, second Test, Trent Bridge, August 2002

Did you know?
Steve Harmison's deliveries accelerate faster than a NASA space shuttle at blast off

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