Harmy eyes Lord's final
Steve Harmison will not rush back to action too soon, but has one eye on Lord's.
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 07/08/07 4:40pm
England paceman Steve Harmison has set a tentative target of the Friends Provident Trophy final on August 18th at Lord's for a possible return to action following a hernia operation.
Durham man Harmison picked up his hernia problem in June and attempts to nurse him through the summer failed when he was ruled out of the first Test against India at Lord's.
Harmison then required hernia surgery which ruled him out of the entire India series, but he is now taking tentative steps back towards fitness.
Although he has not yet set a date for a return to action, Harmison admits that he would love to take part in Durham's Friends Provident Trophy final against Hampshire on 18th August at Lord's.
"I'm doing a slow build up and see how we go, there's no date in mind as I don't want to come back too soon and break down," Harmison told Sky Sports News.
"There is the dangling of the carrot of the Lord's final, I'd love to play in that but I've got to make sure I'm fully fit.
"If I can get some cricket in before that it would be great."
No Rush back
Harmison is keen to not make the same mistakes as before and is adamant he will not rush back into action until he is fully recovered.
"I've just been trying to go through my action and trying to build back up to where I was, I think it's got to be done slowly.
"It's only been two weeks since the operation and fingers crossed I will get there in time for the final but like I said before I don't want to break down.
"I don't want to have to go through the whole thing again, so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed."
England have been without all of their Ashes-winning bowlers against India, with Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard joining Harmison on the sidelines.
Ryan Sidebottom, James Anderson and Chris Tremlett have performed admirably in their absence though, and Harmison believes the future does look bright for English bowling.
"It's been interesting watching the Tests, I think the bowlers have done really well.
"Over the two Test matches there has been a lot more positives for Peter Moores and the selectors to take, there's been more positives than negatives from these Two test matches.
"While there's been some experienced players injured there's been some positives about the younger players that have come in and shown that there is competition for places.
"Obviously it's going to be hard for me, for Matthew and Andrew who are going to have to work hard to get out places back."
With England heading to Lord's 1-0 down, Harmison says it is a must-win match for Michael Vaughan's men to keep their proud home record going.
"It's not can they do it - they have to do it - we've got a proud record that could go," Harmison added.
"It's 2001 since we lost a home series, so it's a case of we must win.
"I think the way Chris Tremlett bowled in that fourth innings in the morning at Trent Bridge, if he bowls like that he'll take a lot of wickets at the Oval.
"I hope that doesn't put too much pressure on him, but I think he showed some good signs on his debut and if he puts the ball in those areas at the Oval he will get rewarded there's no doubt about that."