Harmison could still feature against Proteas - Vaughan

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 8:00 [IST]
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England captain Michael Vaughan has said it is possible that fast bowler Stephen Harmison could feature in the South Africa series after he was left out of the side for the third Test at Edgbaston starting here Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Durham quick, dropped by England after the first Test away to New Zealand in March, was recalled to a 13-man squad only to be left out along with fellow paceman Stuart Broad on Tuesday.

Defeat for England at Edgbaston will see South Africa go an unbeatable 2-0 up in the series with one to play after they won the second Test at Headingley by 10 wickets following the drawn Lord's opener.

England are going into Wednesday's game with just four spercialist bowlers with batting all-rounder Paul Collingwood recalled after the top order failed twice at Headingley.

But Vaughan said it was still quite possible Harmison could play in the final Test at The Oval starting on August 7.

"He was very close (to playing) and that's why we brought him into the squad - it's a sign for him that we feel he's got a chance of getting get back in," said Vaughan.

"He's obviously not in the XI this week, but who's to say he won't be in the XI at The Oval the week after?"

Vaughan added: "I'd say he is just delighted to be back in the squad.

"This isn't a dropping, it's a promotion from being in the Durham ranks to back in the England ranks. He's not in the XI but he's delighted to be back in the 13."

Former England chairman of selectors Ray Illingworth said it was right that Harmison was left out of the Edgbaston side.

"It's a difficult decision to make but you might as well keep him (Harmison) out of the side if the pitch isn't right for him," Illingworth, England's selection chief from 1994-97, said.

"Harmison had two years where he didn't perform for England and I don't think he can just walk back into the side."

Illingworth, captain of the England side that regained the Ashes in Australia in 1970/71, added: "The lads that have been bowling have been playing well over the last 12 months. I don't think he's been badly treated by the selectors. He's got to fight for his place.

"He's not actually been all that good from what I've seen of him."

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