Already without Michael Vaughan, who is taking a break from the game following his emotional resignation as captain on Sunday, England have also given Ryan Sidebottom, the left-arm seamer, a break. But rather than recall Ravi Bopara, of Essex, for his first Test since last December as Vaughan's replacement, England have instead reverted to a five-man bowling attack with Harmison and Stuart Broad coming back into the team.
It is a surprising line-up for Kevin Pietersen's first Test as captain as England attempt to halt South Africa's momentum following successive triumphs at Headingley and Edgbaston to wrap up the series with a match to spare.
"I'm going to go with four fast bowlers and Panesar," Pietersen said. "I think it is an aggressive move, a positive move. We need to take 20 wickets in this Test - you need to take 20 in any Test - and I feel a lot more comfortable with four fast bowlers."
Broad has been recalled after being rested because of his workload at Edgbaston while Harmison plays his first Test since the opening defeat against New Zealand in Hamilton last March. "I like Steve and what he brings to the team," Pietersen said. "He's had his ups and downs but I have a really good relationship with Steve. He seems as excited as anything and he had a bit of a bounce in his step."