Wednesday 12 March 2008 

England Drop Harmison And Hoggard For Wellington Test

England have dropped experienced pace bowlers Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard for the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington, picking James Anderson and Stuart Broad in their place.

Neither impressed in the first Test, a 189-run loss for England, with Harmison bowling well below his normal pace and Hoggard looking rusty. Both Broad and Anderson have been in New Zealand for the One Day series and Anderson recently played a State Championship match for Auckland.

"It was a very tough call," England captain Michael Vaughan said. "I had a gut feeling we needed a change. I felt that the attack needed a shake-up."

"It was not a nice thing for me to do to go and tell two players I have basically played my entire test career with that they're not in the team," he added.

"They're just not bowling to the standards they have set themselves."

The pair picked up one wicket each in the match in Hamilton although between them they have claimed 460 Test wickets in a combined total of 134 matches.

Broad made his Test debut in Sri Lanka and has been on the fringes of the Test side since the summer, when he was expected to make his first start against India only for Chris Tremlett to be given the nod. Tremlett has returned home from New Zealand injured.

Anderson, meanwhile, has been in and out of the side, but seemed to have found his best Test form in the summer when he formed a formidable new ball pairing with Ryan Sidebottom, with whom he will be reunited for this match.

"I'm leading a new attack into a test match," said Vaughan.

"It's quite inexperienced but they have enough talent to take them through and put the New Zealand batsmen under pressure.

"It (the selection) was purely on gut instinct - I guess we'll find out in five days time, but we feel we have made the tough call but the right call for this game."

England must win to retain any chance of winning the three-match series.

England: Michael Vaughan (captain), Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Tim Ambrose (wicket-keeper), Stuart Broad, Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson, Monty Panesar.

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