Moores: Harmy needs time
Coach Peter Moores has reassured Steve Harmison that he still has a significant part to play in England's Test Match future.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 21/05/08 9:32am
Coach Peter Moores has reassured Steve Harmison that he still has a significant part to play in England's future, despite overlooking him for the second npower Test against New Zealand at Old Trafford.
After his sharp delivery broke the thumb of England pace rival Matthew Hoggard during a recent LV County Championship clash between Durham and Yorkshire, Harmison was among the favourites to replace the 31-year-old in the 12-man squad for the Old Trafford Test.
However, Moores and the England selectors instead opted for the pace and bounce of Hampshire's Chris Tremlett - sparking reports that the Durham seamer's international future may be coming to a premature end.
But the former Sussex head coach Moores, insists that Harmison has every chance of earning a recall to the Test arena once he has recovered his best form playing for Durham.
"Steve has got a good record at Old Trafford, he's a mature performer so he's always going to be talked about," said Moores.
"I think we feel that at the moment he needs time in county cricket to bowl and get himself ready to come back. I've heard he's been bowling okay, but maybe not fully hitting his straps as best he can.
"When he got left out in New Zealand he was very disappointed, but I also think realistically he knew he wasn't bowling as well as he could bowl and since then he's gone away and decided what he wants to do about it and you start to get a plan together to get back to playing the best cricket you can."
Despite Tremlett's call-up the England bowling attack is likely to remain unchanged from the one which drew the rain-hit first Test against the Black Caps at Lord's.
Determined to snatch the imitative at Old Trafford, Moores expects Ryan Sidebottom, Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad to exploit the bouncy surface before Monty Panesar comes into the equation later in the game.
"All we've heard so far is that it will be hard and bouncy a bit like the pitch against West Indies last year," added Moores.
"I'll be really happy if it's the same sort of wicket because it brings everyone into the game."
Old Trafford will also be a test for England's opening partnership between Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook, who celebrated their first century stand in 15 Tests opening together at Lord's despite numerous interruptions.
"I was really pleased with the way they played because they were coming on and off all the time," said Moores.
"Some people have asked whether Andrew Strauss could have batted quicker but I thought he was really composed.
"They had to start their innings again four or five times and to get a hundred partnership like that was a real testament to how they played. I thought they ran well between the wickets, we took scoring opportunities and set a really good platform."