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Hasib
October 14, 2003, 08:08 AM
England's new-look attack

By Oliver Brett



I knew it would be quite a bad accident but I didn't think at the time it would take quite so long to heal

Hoggard on his knee injury

Trying to find the natural successors to Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick was never going to be an easy process.

Of the various pace bowlers tried out by England this year, it is hard to settle on any sort of pecking order.

Injuries have interrupted the progress of nearly all the candidates in line far too often for anyone's liking.

And one of the hottest prospects of all, Simon Jones, has only just started bowling again a year on from the horrible knee injury he sustained in Brisbane.

The latest incarnation of a new ball attack is likely to be Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison in Bangladesh.

Hoggard, who had previously gone against the grain by staying fit, twisted his knee badly soon after the first Test against Zimbabwe at the start of the summer.

"It was a C&G game against Worcestershire. I got Graeme Hick out first ball, caught at third man," he said.

"I then bowled two balls at Vikram Solanki and on the third my follow-through wasn't quite right and I tore the cartilage in my right knee.

"I knew it would be quite a bad accident but I didn't think at the time it would take quite so long to heal."

In fact, it took almost the whole of the remainder of the season for Hoggard to return to fitness.

By contrast, Harmison managed to stay fit for most of the summer, playing in six of the seven Tests of the summer.


At the time I was a little bit disappointed and upset

Harmison on missing a 12-month contract

But he never really came into his own until The Oval, where, on a perfect pitch for his heavy, back-of-a-length bowling, he took 4-33 in South Africa's second innings.

He is under no illusions that Bangladeshi batsmen will lie down and die in the face of his occasionally extremely hostile bowling.

"I played for England under-19s in Pakistan but came back early due to injury.

"If the pitches in Bangladesh are like the ones out there it's going to be hard work for us."

The Durham speedster was a bit of an angry young man when he heard he had not been offered a 12-month contract when the winter touring squads were announced.

He insists he has put all that behind him now.

"As long as I am in the XI, not being selfish, I don't care who I'm sharing the new ball with," he says.

"The contract thing is gone now - it's life - you have to get on with it. At the time I was a little bit disappointed and upset but when things happen you take it on the chin.

"Maybe next time I will have proved to people I did deserve one but I'm not going to dwell on it."

For Hoggard, it's a triumph just to return to the fold after not only injury but an indifferent Ashes tour when he lost his place in the side.

Spending so much of the summer out with injury was frustrating, but he had just bought a new house with fiancee Sarah and a lot of work had to be done on it.

Now, finally, it's time for action. And this time it should be a lot easier than bowling at the Adelaide Oval.

oracle
October 14, 2003, 08:36 AM
He is under no illusions that Bangladeshi batsmen will lie down and die in the face of his occasionally extremely hostile bowling.


I enjoyed reading this, and especially this qoute. "Occassionally hostile bowling". Is this the same occassionally as in the Shaoib Akhtar variant or tamer. England still my 2nd fave team.:D

p.s- Hasib.Thanks for posting this.;)