England selectors ponder Harmison recall
Harmison hasn't played for England since being axed along with Matthew Hoggard following a heavy defeat to New Zealand.cricket Updated: Jul 25, 2008 21:01 IST
England paceman Steve Harmison could be handed a surprise recall when the selectors announce their squad for the third Test against South Africa on Saturday.
Harmison, 29, hasn't played for England since being axed along with new-ball partner Matthew Hoggard following a heavy defeat to New Zealand in Hamilton in March.
But national selector Geoff Miller hinted that England are looking for extra pace to pep up an attack which has toiled its way to just 13 wickets in the last 344.3 overs sent down to South Africa this series.
With England trailing 1-0 with two matches of the four-Test series to play after their hammering at Headingley, Miller knows the 13-man squad which will meet up to Birmingham on Sunday ahead of the Edgbaston clash needs to be full of attacking options.
"We now know we have to win two games to win the series, and have to create a side which is capable of that at Edgbaston, which as a ground is different to Headingley," said national selector Geoff Miller.
"We have discussed all kinds of things: extra pace, whether it will turn more, or whether it is anticipated to swing."
Expanding the party from the more usual dozen men offers the chance to cover all the bases should weather or pitch conditions throw up any surprises.
Although left-armer Ryan Sidebottom is anticipated to return, Miller confirmed: "You always need options. Ryan has been an extremely important member of the squad, and indeed side, since he came back last year.
"But it is not just about taking 20 wickets - yes we need to do that - it is about scoring runs as well, and 200 in the first innings (at Headingley) is simply not enough."
Aside from the introduction of extra speed, England are likely to stick with the original 12 dispatched to Leeds last week, which would mean returns to county action for Pattinson and Chris Tremlett.