Harmison urges England to `keep firm foot on Oz throat` to keep Ashes whitewash hopes alive
London: Former England Test cricketer Steve Harmison has urged captain Alastair Cook to keep alive their 5-0 `whitewash of Australia` hopes in the Ashes series.
Harmison also advised England to use the `horrendous` beating on their official wheels-are-off tour as an incentive to clinch the deal on this summer`s contest with their arch-rivals by the end of the third Test.
`Grievous Bodily `Harmison, who was on the receiving end of a wipeout in Australia in 2006-07, has became the mascot for England`s misery that winter after his scattergun wide, from the first delivery of the series, in Brisbane.
Eager to see England have their revenge on the Australians ahead of the Old Trafford clash, the former pace bowler hoped that Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and James Anderson, who all suffered with him in that period, will keep Australia down and return the compliment of a 5-0 annihilation if they get the opportunity.
Enjoying a benefit season with county side Durham, Harmison said that even though it is dangerous to talk about England winning 5-0 in the series, he is aware that it feels `horrendous` be on the wrong end of a whitewash, adding that he is still haunted by the `horrible` eight weeks of their 5-0 Ashes loss in 2006-07.
According to Harmison, England will be determined over the next five days to go 3-0 up in the series and keep the possibility of 5-0 alive, even if they do not announce it publicly.
Stating that he would be motivated by the thought of giving back to Australia tit for tat if he was still playing for England, Harmison also said that he believed that if England plays to their maximum capabilities this summer, they will retain the Ashes comfortably.
Harmison further said that England need to keep their foot firmly on the throats of the Australians as they did not show any mercy in 2006-07, although he added that the difference between the teams is not so great that England can afford to relax.
Harmison also said that there is a chance that Australia can come out swinging at Old Trafford because it is either win or bust for them, although he added that Cook and coach Andy Flower will not allow England to coast through this Test.