Steve Harmison will fly to Sri Lanka on Tuesday to join the England side for their three-Test series. It is possible he will arrive in time to play in the first warm-up match which starts in Colombo that day.
Harmison has played two SuperSport matches in South Africa for the Lions, and after discussions with David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, and Ottis Gibson, England’s new bowling coach, it was agreed that he had done enough to prove his fitness.
In his first match Harmison took 9 for 169 against the Cobras and followed up with 4 for 93 against the Dolphins last week. While he was in the wickets, Harmison suffered from a plethora of wides and no-balls against the Cobras and appeared to be struggling to find his line and length.
“I desperately want to play for England, but if I’m supposed to be in the side for line-and-length consistency I shouldn’t be,” Harmison said at the weekend. “Let’s be honest, I’m not the best 83mph bowler available to England or the best at 85mph. But when things are going right, with my height and bounce, I can be the best 90mph-plus bowler.”
Harmison’s arrival will be all the more welcome after James Anderson struggled in England’s first net session in Colombo, bowling at three-quarter pace before being forced to withdraw with a stiff back. The management did not appear unduly bothered and at this stage the feeling is he has suffered a reaction to pre-tour gym sessions.
“The physios feel it is an early twinge but we will be careful with it,” Peter Moores, the England coach said. “They are expecting him to be better on Tuesday and to be able to take a part in this game but we will have to wait and see.
“Steve will be in the mix with everybody else for that first Test. He has proved he can bowl without breaking down and that he is bowling fit, so the next question is whether he is playing well enough to play for his country.”
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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