Is Hoggy's time up?
Bob Willis says it will be hard for Matthew Hoggard to fight his way back into England's Test team.
Last Updated: 06/05/08 3:46pm
Some people feel Matthew Hoggard has been harshly treated by the England selectors, but not me. I feel his case has been more one of hard luck.
Hoggard had an injury in Sri Lanka, missing the second Test of the three-match series defeat, but then came back into the team for the third Test and had a poor match.
And then he didn't bowl well in the first Test in New Zealand, so he had two poor Test matches in a row, albeit between December and the beginning of March.
The England management were surprised and disappointed that he was so ill-prepared for that Test in Hamilton.
Now whether that was Hoggard's fault or their fault, whether these guys have got to go with The Lions and warm-up playing cricket somewhere else before they attempt to play Test matches, remains to be seen.
I think Vaughan was surprised and disappointed at how poorly prepared Hoggard, and indeed Harmison, were for that match - a match which England lost comprehensively in.
But I would expect Hoggard to be named in a squad of 12 for the first Test of the summer against New Zealand, moving up in front of James Anderson in the pecking order.
And then the discussion will be whether Vaughan can persuade his fellow selectors that Andrew Flintoff is fit enough to be one of four bowlers and if he can persuade them of that, should the fourth bowler be Hoggard or Monty Panesar?
Whether they need the spinner at Lord's is dependant on the weather because there have been instances in the early Test match at Lord's where the spinner has hardly bowled an over - I can remember Ashley Giles hardly bowling in a couple of Lord's Tests, and before that Chris Schofield being picked and hardly turning his arm over.
So I would have thought that that would be Vaughan's preference from what he's been saying, in particular in an interesting interview with my Sky Sports colleague Michael Atherton in The Times.
I think Vaughan is favouring the same six batsmen that finished the winter tour - with Strauss opening with Cook, Vaughan at three, Pietersen four, Bell, Collingwood and then Ambrose, Flintoff, Broad, Sidebottom, and then a choice between Panesar and Hoggard.
I would like to see the return of Flintoff although I think some of the selectors might want him to do a bit more with Lancashire.
I think his runs, or lack of them, are irrelevant because he is one of England's best four bowlers, so he should be selected as a bowler in his own right.
For me, Broad has to stay in the side in order to develop into a top-class bowler in time for the Ashes next summer. He's a special talent.
The drawback with playing Sidebottom and Hoggard is that they are very similar bowlers and I wouldn't give the new ball to both Sidebottom and Hoggard.
I want someone with a little more pace with the ball - when Harmison was bowling well I always wanted him to open up with the new ball.
Hoggard is going to have to force his way back into the side and get wickets in order for him to prolong his Test career.
But Sidebottom is the number one bowler now, Broad must be kept in the side as an investment for the future and Flintoff is potentially England's best bowler if he is fully fit, so it will be a big ask for Hoggard to get back in the side, and stay in the side.
Do you agree with Bob Willis? Has Hoggy's time been and gone, or does he still have a part to play for England? Let us know your thoughts by filling in the feedback form below