Moores - Harmy was prepared

England coach defends paceman's pre-match preperation

By Joe Drabble.   Last Updated: 10/03/08 6:04pm

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Moores: Harmison backing

Moores: Harmison backing

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Peter Moores is adamant that Steve Harmison had enough preparation time ahead of the opening Test defeat by New Zealand.

Harmison's below-par display in Hamilton has been widely criticised, but Moores insists that despite his late arrival on tour the Durham seamer was ready for action.

"There's been a lot of talk about preparation - when we came here for the one-day series we had a week to prepare and we won our first two games and we were fine," Moores said.

"The Test match boys had 19 days, so they nearly had three weeks - which was a long time.

"Harmison's time was cut short a bit because of the baby, but we brought them out earlier than we've ever brought them out before.

"They had 10 days on their own and then they had nine days with us when we finished the one-day series to get ready, and we were conscious of the fact we wanted those bowlers to get time outside to bowl on grass.

Uninspiring

"I don't think it's a preparation thing. You can prepare for so long, but eventually you've got to be able to deliver in the game - and that's down to each individual player."

Harmison is failing to impress for the second successive tour after an uninspiring time in Australia last winter.

The England seamer barely got over 80mph at Seddon Park, claiming only one wicket and conceding 121 runs from his 27 overs - having arrived on tour slightly later than the other Test specialists due to the birth of his son, Charlie.

Moores admitted: "He's had a tough time of it, and that's part of sport.

"If you lose form or confidence that's what goes with it eventually, and our job as coaches or selectors is to pick teams accordingly.

"Steve has been working hard since we had him here; he's been working hard before he came out here and had fitness tests before he came out like everybody else, which he passed fine.

Confident

"Like everybody else, Steve would desperately want to go out and bowl well. But at the moment he's struggling for a bit of form."

After failing to record a victory in the last seven successive Tests Moores is also now under pressure himself.

However, the former Sussex director of cricket remains confident he can turn his side's fortunes around, starting with the second Test in Wellington.

"When I took the job I knew it had pressure to it. I've got a pretty clear vision of where we're taking it to, and that hasn't changed at all," Moores said.

"You obviously want to win all the time, as all coaches do. But you also accept sometimes through change it can be quite tough.

"I took the job because I was confident I could do it - and I'm still confident I can do it."

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