Harmison and Hoggard: The Future

Well, in the end, the football injury didn't amount to much and Anderson managed to get through the last day and a bit without any trouble, although he was apparently rattling around the pitch as a result of the number of painkillers he was taking. It didn't matter too much, as Sidebottom and Broad did most of what was necessary and England were worthy winners, moving on to Napier as favourites to win the series.

The news of the day in some quarters seems to be the fact that Moores has pointed out that it'll be hard for Harmison and Hoggard to reclaim their lost places. Stating the obvious, I would have thought, as long as Broad and Sidebottom keep bowling well, although history shows that there's at least as much chance of a vacancy occurring because of injury as loss of form.

Obviously both Harmison and Hoggard will need to be bowling well to put themselves in the frame for a recall, but, if they do, will the selectors want them?

Hoggard: A probable yes, on account of his ability to bring similar qualities 'to the party' (as Duncan Fletcher would have said) as Sidebottom; swing, control, competitiveness, heart.

Harmison: Very possibly a no, based on what's becoming too long a history of technical inconsistency and temperamental vulnerability.

With Hoggard you just know he'll be busting a gut to get back in. With Harmy you can't help but have your doubts. And, if he's not sure how much he wants it, you can be sure that the selectors won't be sure how much they want him.

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