When Harmison deliberately got bowled on Lehmann’s advice
Steve Harmison, speaking on talkSport’s Following On podcast, recalled the “best bit of batting advice” he received from Darren Lehmann while facing a pumped-up Brett Lee at the WACA during the 2002/03 Ashes.
Harmison, just three months into his Test career, trudged on to the pitch after Alex Tudor, the No.9, was stretchered off after copping a brutal Lee bouncer, which gave him a deep gash that required six stitches.
“I walked in when Alex Tudor got hit in the face, fastest pitch in 25 years at Perth, and Australia hadn’t picked him [Lee] for the first two Tests,” Harmison recalled. “They picked Andy Bichel, basically feeding Brett Lee red meat three weeks before that Perth Test match.”
With England at 214-7, still 57 adrift of Australia’s lead, Harmison the No.10, joined Alec Stewart in the middle. Lee was breathing fire, forcing Lehmann, positioned at short leg, to give Harmison a sensible pearl of wisdom.
“And I got the best bit of advice while batting. Ever. I turn around, [Adam] Gilchrist like 40 yards away, [Shane] Warne has come up 10 yards further up just to sledge you and then go back. Darren Lehmann is at short leg.
“I can see sawdust and blood in front of me when I am looking down. Brett Lee is a long way away, and Lehmann, instead of sledging, he went, ‘Harmy! No good for heroes here. Just back away and let him hit the stumps.
“Third ball, I did exactly that. Off stump went cartwheeling and boy, I was thankful.”
In fact, Harmison managed to survive ten deliveries for his five runs, but his valiant effort couldn’t stop Australia from romping to an innings win, clinching a 3-0 lead in the five-match series.