Harmison recalled as Flintoff cover for second test

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Fast bowler Steve Harmison was added to England's squad on Monday for the second test against Australia after it was revealed that allrounder Andrew Flintoff needs a scan on a knee injury.

England held on to draw the first test in Cardiff on Sunday after its last-wicket stand withstood Australia for 69 balls. The injury to Flintoff will be a blow to its plans for the match at Lord's, which starts Thursday, as he was the team's most threatening bowler.

Harmison, dropped by England on the West Indies tour earlier this year, recently claimed six wickets for England's second-string team in a warm-up game against Australia.

"Andrew is experiencing soreness and swelling in the knee, which he twisted while in the field, and he will be reassessed by the medical staff over the next 48 hours leading up to the test match on Thursday," England selector Geoff Miller said in a statement. "In the event of Andrew being unfit, we see Stephen as a like-for-like replacement in terms of the type of bowler he is and his ability to unsettle the opposition batsmen with pace and bounce.

"But we will need to consider all our options carefully when we come to determine the makeup of our bowling attack at Lord's and the final decision will depend on our assessment of the pitch and the likely overhead conditions."

England rarely select two spinners at Lord's, like in Cardiff, so Monty Panesar or Graeme Swann may be omitted to accommodate an extra pace bowler, such as Harmison or Durham teammate Graham Onions. They could both play if Flintoff misses out.

Flintoff, who has undergone four ankle operations since 2005, had knee surgery in May after being injured in the Indian Premier League.

Full Squad:

Andrew Strauss (captain)

Alastair Cook

Ravi Bopara

Kevin Pietersen

Paul Collingwood

Matt Prior

Andrew Flintoff

Stuart Broad

Steve Harmison

James Anderson

Graeme Swann

Monty Panesar

Graham Onions

Ian Bell