Ponting preparing for Harmy
Ricky Ponting expects Steve Harmison to add a "bit of hostility" to England's attack at Lord's.
Last Updated: 15/07/09 12:07pm
Australia captain Ricky Ponting expects Steve Harmison to add a "bit of hostility" to England's attack for the second Test at Lord's.
The Durham paceman has not played for his country since being dropped in the West Indies earlier this year and was not included in the 13 for the drawn Ashes opener in Cardiff where England were able to take just six wickets in the match to Australia's 19.
Harmison took six wickets against Australia the week before the first Test playing for the England Lions at Worcester, meanwhile, and he twice dismissed opener Phil Hughes with short deliveries.
Ponting therefore feels England will recall the fast bowler regardless of Andrew Flintoff's fitness and feels his presence will enhance the contest.
"I reckon Harmison will play, yes," Ponting said. "I think he will play even if Flintoff is fit, they'll play them both if they can.
"I think these conditions will suit him more than what the ones down at Cardiff would have done. I had the feeling he was very close to selection down there.
"Being as tall as he is, and the sort of bang it into the wicket bowler he is, you don't get too many pitched up.
"He's a bit of a Curtly Ambrose type bowler in that regard. So when you get conditions like this where it will probably bounce a little bit more his style of bowling becomes pretty difficult.
"There was a lot made of how he bowled in Worcester, and some people felt he should have been picked. But I think our guys overall did a reasonable job and played him pretty well."
Australia claimed a 239-run victory over England at Lord's in 2005 and have not lost a Test at the home of cricket since 1934, which is a record Ponting is keen to uphold.
"There is a great feel around the place, and all the history, and the very proud record that Australia have had here for so long makes you feel good about the place when you arrive," Ponting added.
"Everyone has been looking forward to playing here, and what it means to a lot of our younger guys in particular to play here.
"I think this is the first time at the ground for Nathan Hauritz and Peter Siddle. I had to show Sids the way round in the pavilion and on to the field, he kept getting lost - 'out through that door, mate, through that Long Room there' - It's very exciting for them.
"We haven't finalised our XI yet but there weren't too many weaknesses in what we did last week so it would be pretty hard to make too many changes."