Gillespie joins chorus to bring back Harmisson at Lord's
Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie has joined the chorus to bring back Steve Harmison in the England side for the second Ashes Test at Lord's starting on Thursday.india Updated: Jul 13, 2009 15:34 IST
Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie has joined the chorus to bring back Steve Harmison in the England side for the second Ashes Test at Lord's starting on Thursday.
Gillespie feels that Harmison is peaking at the right time and can cause problems for the Australian batsmen at Lord's, where the visitor's have not lost a Test since 1934.
"He's peaking at the right time. His recent (Test) record hasn't been brilliant but if he is fit and firing he has to come into contention. I know the Aussie boys respect him as a bowler and Lord's will suit his style of bowling," Gillespie was quoted as saying in the Australian media.
Harmison has taken 42 wickets in nine first-class matches this season at an average of 19.38. His figures also includes six wickets against the Australians in their final pre-Ashes warm-up match at Worcester.
In 2005, Harmison shook the Australian batting at Lord's and with his unnerving bounce struck openers Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting, on the elbow, head and face, respectively.
"It's just that unnerving bounce. Even when he does pitch it up, as a batter you're not quite sure whether it's there to drive or press forward to because he's so tall and he gets that bounce. It tends to carry through nicely at Lord's," Gillespie said.
Gillespie feels that Harmison's absence in the first Ashes Test at Cardiff allowed the Australian batsmen to relax.
"There is no doubt that the Australian camp was reasonably happy that Harmison wasn't included in the squad (for Cardiff). They know he can be a big match player and they would have been relieved he wasn't playing," he said.
Harmison's Durham coach Geoff Cook also believes that the fast bowler has done enough to earn a recall for the second Test.
"He had to thrash himself to get anything out of the wicket, but he always puts the effort in for Durham. He's a tall lad and a world-class bowler, he's got lots of wickets this season at not very many and he's bowling very well," Cook was quoted as saying by The Times, London.
Geoff Miller, the national selector, had dropped hints last week that the bowler may have a chance to come back in the side.
The 30-year-old Harmison has taken 221 wickets in 61 Tests and his last appearance was in the third Test against the West Indies in Antigua in February. He was dropped after that game due to his on-off relationship with the England selectors in recent times.