England wield the axe
England bowlers Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard have both been axed for the second Test against New Zealand.
By Tony Curtis
Last Updated: 12/03/08 11:19am
Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard have both been axed for the second Test against New Zealand as England react to their humiliating defeat in Hamilton.
England were ruthlessly brushed aside by 189 runs in the opening Test - with a last-day batting slump costing the tourists.
However it is the bowlers that have paid the price for the defeat, with Harmison and Hoggard replaced by Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Harmison had been expected to make way after another erratic display, while Hoggard's place looked safe after a more assured second innings performance with the ball.
"It was a very tough call," admitted captain Michael Vaughan.
"We had a gut feeling that we just needed to make a change and we've gone with two of them.
"We felt the attack just needed a bit of a shake-up and it's a great opportunity for Jimmy and Broady to come in and try and establish themselves at this level.
"I also hope Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison really fight and try and get their places back because that's going to create a healthy environment as well.
"It was a really hard decision, but when you're in a position like we are you have to make the odd tough decision and it was just a gut feeling that Jimmy deserved his opportunity.
"It's a very tough call on Hoggy but we've gone with that and hopefully it will be the right decision.
"From last week and maybe a little bit from Galle as well that the attack needed a bit of a shake-up. We've gone with that and hopefully the young lads with thrive with the opportunity and come out and put on a good display."
The decision means that England will face New Zealand at the Basin Reserve with an inexperienced pace attack - with Broad, Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom holding 32 caps between them.
However Vaughan has complete faith that the trio can deliver the goods in tandem with Monty Panesar.
"It's quite an exciting time," added Vaughan. "I'm leading a new attack into a Test match.
"It certainly looks very exciting, even if it is a little bit lacking in experience but I think they have enough talent to take them through and put the New Zealand batsmen under a lot of pressure."
England: MP Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), AN Cook (Essex), AJ Strauss (Middlesex), KP Pietersen (Hampshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), PD Collingwood (Durham), TR Ambrose (Warwickshire, wkt), SC Broad (Nottinghamshire), RJ Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), JM Anderson (Lancashire), MS Panesar (Northamptonshire).