Moores: No rush for Hoggard
England insist they will take a softly-softly approach with Matthew Hoggard in a bid to ensure the Yorkshire seamer avoids injury.
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 27/07/07 7:09pm
England insist they will take a softly-softly approach with Matthew Hoggard in a bid to ensure the Yorkshire seamer does not become a long-term injury victim.
Hoggard sat out the first Test of England's series with India after being laid low with a back spasm in the build-up to that match at Lord's.
Although he is now back bowling in light training sessions, he has been ruled out of the second Test - which gets underway at Trent Bridge this Friday - but will join up with the squad to have his progress assessed by the team's medical staff.
However, with England's bowling attack performing admirably in his absence at Lord's, coach Peter Moores is adamant that Hoggard will not be rushed back into action.
"It's just that he's not ready yet," Moores stated. "He came down to Loughborough and was assessed and managed to bowl a bit but his back is a bit stiff.
"I think everything has come a bit too early for him with the injury but it's progressing. We'll be speaking with him again but there's a fair chance that we'll keep him with us if we can.
"We might get him to bowl at Trent Bridge so the medics can keep an eye on him and build up his work-rate.
"What has been quite difficult for Matthew is that with the weather that we've had he's not had much chance to bowl full stop.
"We need to get him back fully fit and get that back sorted because if it goes again it could be a long job.
"It's just a question of getting cricket into players at the moment because of the weather - when Stuart Broad went to play for Leicestershire last week I think he bowled five overs in the game."
Moores does believe that the series with India is nicely poised despite his obvious frustration over the agonising draw at Lord's earlier in the week.
India just held on to avoid defeat as the weather came to their rescue with the tourists precariously poised at 282-9 in the their second innings.
Moores is of the opinion that the Indians will be an improved outfit having now acclimatised to English conditions and expects the remainder of the series to be highly-competitive.
"I think they look a good team," he added. "Their bowlers will have settled a bit as well because I think they found the slope at Lord's quite challenging at first.
"It's set up a good Test match because with two matches to go both sides know there is no margin for error anymore."