Strauss hopeful over Harmison
Andrew Strauss is confident Steve Harmison will be back to his best during England's tour of the West Indies.
Last Updated: 21/01/09 2:14pm
Andrew Strauss is confident Steve Harmison can revive his form on England's forthcoming tour of the West Indies.
The 30-year-old is back in the Caribbean for the first time since 2004. His performances on that tour sent him to the top of the world bowling rankings.
His form has been patchy ever since, but new England captain Strauss thinks the Durham pace bowler has the right plan to get back to his best.
"If Steve Harmison is bowling well and at 90mph, he's the first name on pretty much any team sheet in the world," Strauss said.
"Clearly he's as frustrated as anyone that he hasn't been able to do that as consistently as he'd like.
"I've spoken to him a couple of times since we've come back from India and he has a clear understanding of where he needs to go to bowl consistently at that sort of pace.
"In keeping with giving players responsibility, I'm quite happy with what he's said to me in terms of how he's going to get there.
"I'm confident about him. He's a very important player for us in terms of the threat that he gives us on the pitch."
Harmison will be responsible for preparing himself rather than relying on a strategy laid out by the England coaching staff. It is part of a wider plan that Strauss hopes will sharpen his team.
He added: "In broad strokes, we want to see players who are able to think on their feet out in the middle.
"They must take responsibility for the situation and not leave it for someone else. The only way we can do that is by giving them responsibility off the pitch as well.
"The coaches will play a bit more of an advisory/consultancy type role. It's vitally important that players are challenged to think for themselves."