Hoggard upbeat on injuries
Fitness worries concerning Anderson and Harmison ahead of first Test
Last Updated: November 26, 2007 4:25pm
Hoggard: five wickets
Matthew Hoggard played down the fitness doubts surrounding his England seam bowling colleagues James Anderson and Steve Harmison.
"It was swinging around a bit and thankfully they nicked off rather than played and missed. It's nice to pick up the wickets, but they're not the be all and end all. It's about getting into your rhythm and being happy with the way the ball is coming out."
Matthew Hoggard Quotes of the week
Injury prevented Anderson (ankle) and Harmison (back spasm) bowling on Monday's second day of the final warm-up match against the SLC Board President's XI.
Hoggard covered their absence admirably with five wickets as the hosts slumped to 77-8 in their second innings.
However, that represents a lead of 241 after England had earlier been skittled for 134 in just 50.2 overs.
On Anderson's failure to bowl on Monday, Hoggard told Sky Sports News: "I think it's just precautionary as it's a practice game and we didn't need to risk him."
He was similarly upbeat on Harmison's prospects, predicting that the Durham paceman will play 'at some point' during the three-Test series.
"I don't think he's too bad," said Hoggard. "Obviously he's a bit disappointed that he's got a spasm, but hopefully that will disappear and he'll be right as rain shortly.
"Competition for places is very high, it's a nice place for the England selectors to be in.
"Obviously it's not a nice place if you've picked up a niggle and can't do anything about it, but he's a quality player and I'm sure we'll see him at some point."
Hoggard was pleased with his own form after exploiting some seam movement with the new ball during a nine-over spell that included three maidens and yielded 5-25.
"It was swinging around a bit and thankfully they nicked off rather than played and missed," he added.
"It's nice to pick up the wickets, but they're not the be all and end all.
"It's about getting into your rhythm and being happy with the way the ball is coming out."
England head into Tuesday's final day with Hoggard believing 270 would represent a realistic run chase.
"It would be nice to push for a win," he added. "We need two quick wickets tomorrow morning and then (scoring) 260, 270 runs in the day should be achievable."
The first Test starts on Saturday in Kandy, you can watch live on Sky Sports and follow the action with skysports.com's over-by-over text commentary.