Moores warns dropped duo

Hoggard and Harmison face a fight to return to the Test side

Last Updated: 18/03/08 7:25am

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Facing a fight: Harmison and Hoggard

Facing a fight: Harmison and Hoggard

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England coach Peter Moores has told Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison that they face a fight if they are to force their way back into the Test side.

Hoggard and Harmison may have claimed 456 victims between them in 123 appearances, however they were ruthlessly axed from the side in the aftermath of the first Test humiliation to New Zealand.

The duo were replaced by James Anderson and Stuart Broad - and the move paid dividends as they helped inspire England to a 126-run second Test victory.

And with Anderson and Broad picking up 10 wickets between them in Wellington, Moores admits Hoggard and Harmison need to raise their game if they are to return.

"You can get into the side in two ways either by someone not performing well in the side or by performing exceptionally well and forcing them out - it would have to be one or the other," explained Moores.

"At the moment, for the lads who have got possession, that's always a strong place to be so for Broad, Anderson and (Ryan) Sidebottom they're in at the moment and if they keep playing well they're going to give themselves a great chance of carrying on.

"It was quite a tough decision to make that change, especially on Matthew Hoggard.

Competitive

"I'm very pleased they both came through and it opens us up now and makes us more competitive as a squad which is one thing we're looking to do all the time.

"From what we've seen during practice at this game Hoggy's working very hard. He's at an age where I think he's still got a lot of bowling left in him which is good for us because we've got to make a squad which is very competitive and one we can change it around whichever way we see fit.

"They've both gone about it as you'd expect them to do, very professionally. I certainly think that it's a different position for them because they haven't been in that position before.

"The key thing is how you react to it and they've both been doing their work, Steve probably more than Matthew has been doing more technical work to try and get that right.

"I don't think there was any complacency in the squad before the changes, but the thing about competitiveness in any job you do is that it's good because it keeps everyone pushing forward.

"We know bowlers get injuries, there is no getting away from that, so it's nice for me as a coach to know that you've got two very experienced bowlers who aren't in the team at the moment and three lads in the team that are bowling well."

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