Harmison overlooked by England
Tuesday 29 July 2008
Ryan Sidebottom and Paul Collingwood have been recalled to the England side for the third npower Test with South Africa at Edgbaston starting tomorrow but there is no place for Steve Harmison.
The duo replace Darren Pattinson and Stuart Broad from the line-up beaten by 10 wickets at Headingley last week.
Pace man Harmison misses out after being brought back into the squad for this game after being axed during the winter series in New Zealand.
Sidebottom missed the last Test with a back problem and his return will add some much-needed control and firepower to an attack, which has twice struggled to bowl out the Proteas during the current series.
The Nottinghamshire bowler should also find conditions favourable to swing bowling in Birmingham.
Collingwood was obviously upset when left out of the starting XI at Headingley and his recall will have to give a better balance to the side.
The Durham all-rounder will bat at number six with Andrew Flintoff at seven and Tim Ambrose at eight - two places lower than in the second Test.
Broad has shown great potential with the bat and scored an unbeaten half century in the second innings of the second Test.
But his seven-Test run, which began when he replaced Harmison in New Zealand, has been brought to an end because of his lack of success with the ball.
Harmison was keen to re-establish himself in the England line-up, but it has been decided his qualities will not be required in the pivotal game of the series, with England needing to win to keep alive their hopes.
Captain Michael Vaughan insisted the Durham paceman would be pleased to have been recalled to the England set-up despite being left out of the team.
"It's a testament to the way Steve has bowled this year for Durham that he's back but we've decided to go in with four (bowlers)," he told Sky Sports.
"We've gone with the balance of the side.
"It's a good thing for him to be back in the 13 and he'll be disappointed not to be in the 11 but he'll also be delighted just to be back amongst the ranks.
"I'm confident this side can provide a good performance and put things back on track."
Vaughan also confirmed that England have moved to tinker with the batting order after much debate about the wisdom of their decision to promote the struggling Tim Ambrose to number six in the defeat at Headingley.
The Warwickshire wicketkeeper now looks certain to drop to eight.
Vaughan confirmed: "Paul Collingwood will bat at six, with Freddie (Andrew Flintoff) at seven and Tim Ambrose at eight. I felt last week we just looked a little bit light (in the middle order)."
That new-look batting line-up must now do better than the first-innings 203 all out that undermined England's efforts in Leeds.
"The key this week is to try and bat well in the first innings to let the likes of Jimmy (Anderson), Siddy (Sidebottom) and Freddie to do the job and to bring Monty (Panesar) into the game.
"We all know we didn't do it last week and it's up to us to change that."
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