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Harmison worried about Ashes thrashing

01/04/2005 05:03:15 AM Comments (0)

England paceman Steve Harmison admits Australia will win this year's Ashes series in three Tests if he bowls the way he did in his side's recent triumph in South Africa.

Although England continued its record run of success with a 2-1 series win over the South Africans, Harmison and several teammates performed below par.

"If we play against Australia like we have just played in South Africa, the series will be over in three games," Harmison said in All Out Cricket magazine.

"Against South Africa we played badly, carried people and still won. But we want all 11 players in the best possible state of mind and body come the first day of the Australia series.

"As a cricketer here, all you want to do is play in the Ashes and this summer we can't afford to carry anybody."

Harmison endured a dire series in South Africa, taking nine wickets in five Tests at an average of 73.22 to slip from No.1 to ninth in world rankings.

He is so worried about his form, he has bypassed his county side Durham's pre-season tour of Dubai to stay at home and work with England's fast bowling coach, Australian Troy Cooley.

Harmison, 26, was confident he would iron out the problems which hit his form and confidence in South Africa.

"If I can get the ball in the right area five times out of six, it doesn't matter what batsman is down the other end - I feel I can get him out," he said.

Meanwhile, former England batsman Graeme Hick has doused local enthusiasm for the series which starts at Lord's on July 21 by claiming the Australians will be too strong for the world's No.2 ranked team.

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