Moores - No Harm done
Peter Moores insists Steve Harmison is still part of England's plans despite being dropped for the second time in a year.
Last Updated: 19/12/08 2:30pm
England coach Peter Moores insists Steve Harmison still has a future at international level despite being dropped for the second time in a year.
The Durham paceman was left out of the starting line-up for the second Test of the series against India at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
Instead the tourists opted to bring back fit-again seamer Stuart Broad, who had missed the series opener in Chennai with a hamstring injury.
The decision, which Moores admits was not an easy one, immediately paid off with Broad getting England's only wicket on a shortened day one.
"It was quite a tough decision because we've only played one Test here," admitted Moores. "We wanted to pick a side we thought could best win it and we decided to bring Stuart in.
"It was nothing in particular against Steve, but Stuart is developing very quickly as a player and he obviously gives a bit of depth batting-wise.
"He was disappointed to be left out because he desperately wanted to play, but our job as selectors is to pick what we think is the best side and that's what we did.
"It's not a personal thing when you pick an international side, you pick the best side. Stuart has got a great chance. He's a young man who is developing quickly.
"We've seen him get himself into the top 10 in the world in one-day cricket and I think he's got a great chance in Test match cricket to do that as well."
Harmison bowled just 21 overs in the first Test and failed to pick up a wicket in the second innings as India successfully chased down a target of 387.
The 30-year-old had previously been dropped after England lost the opening match of their series with New Zealand in Hamilton earlier this year.
Some fine performances in county cricket were rewarded with a recall for the final Test against South Africa at the Brit Oval, Harmison helping England record a victory in Kevin Pietersen's first match in charge.
"Steve has gone through a bit of a journey in that 18 months ago he got left out and was struggling for rhythm," Moores added.
"We've seen him come back and bowl well at The Oval and since then he hasn't bowled particularly badly over here, but it's been tough for seamers here as it always is in India.
"It doesn't mean Steve isn't going to be England's premier strike bowler again and he's not going to play in the next Test, it just means that in the short series here we've picked the 11 blokes that we think are best for the job."