x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Collingwood back but Harmison overlooked

Paul Collingwood was recalled to the England side for the third Test against South Africa starting on Wednesday.

Steve Harmison, centre, takes part in bowling practice during the England nets session at Edgbaston.
Steve Harmison, centre, takes part in bowling practice during the England nets session at Edgbaston.

BIRMINGHAM // Paul Collingwood, without a Test century in more than a year, was recalled to the England side along with the fit-again bowler Ryan Sidebottom for the third Test against South Africa starting on Wednesday. The fast bowler Steve Harmison, named in the preliminary 13-man squad and hoping for a recall after being dropped after the winter tour to New Zealand, was left out along with Stuart Broad.

"We felt on this ground the extra depth in our batting would help," said the England captain Michael Vaughan at Edgbaston today. "We felt the three-man seam attack and Monty (Panesar), who should bowl more this week, was good enough to bring us the result we need to get back in the series." England trail 1-0 after losing the second Test by 10 wickets at Headingley. "Harmy (Harmison) was very close (to being picked). It's a sign for him that he has got a chance of getting back in the squad. He's not in the eleven this week but who's to say he won't be in the eleven the week after," added Vaughan.

While Broad has managed three wickets at an average of 96 in the two matches so far, Collingwood has scored just 92 runs in first-class cricket all season in nine innings, with a top score of 44 not out for his county side Durham. "He has struggled of late," Vaughan said of Collingwood, who was dropped for the second Test. "But he averages over 40 in Test match cricket, he brings his fielding, his energy, his bowling on this kind of wicket could be useful, he is a good man to have around the team and he is a good thinker on the game. He knows he needs to start scoring runs, as a few of us do."

The left-armer Sidebottom, England's top-ranked bowler, has recovered from a stiff back to take his place in the side. South Africa are set to play Andre Nel in place of the fast bowler Dale Steyn, who sustained a broken left thumb in the previous Test and was advised to take two to three weeks rest.

Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Michael Vaughan (captain), Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Tim Ambrose, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson, Monty Panesar. *Reuters