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Ruthless Vaughan axes Harmison and Hoggard

Jonathan Agnew | 06:22 UK time, Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wellington - By dropping his two most senior bowlers, Matthew Hoggard and Steve Harmison, Michael Vaughan has certainly demonstrated his ruthless side.

This illustrates just how much he appreciates that his own position as captain is coming under pressure. He might have gone further and had a go at the batting line-up too, but this move will certainly send out a warning to those players who failed to come up to scratch in the first Test in Hamilton last week.

Vaughan called it the end of an era, and that suggests youngsters James Anderson and Stuart Broad will now get an extended run in the team.

Of the two elder statesmen, Harmison will find it the toughest to get back. For a start, he must really decide if he is prepared to devote the necessary time and effort to maintaining a career as an international sportsman.

The 29-year-old can happily cruise in for Durham for another five years, and never go away in the winter again.

It is the first time Hoggard and Harmison have been dropped since the Ashes win in 2005

If that is what he decides, then fine. But if he wants his England place back, it must be on the back of bowling more competitive overs than he has done for a very long time.

Hoggard is just two wickets away from taking 250, and stands at number six in England’s all-time list.

At 31, he is older than Harmison but still has time to return if he can rediscover the nip that was missing last week.

Again, preparation is an issue and he must also reflect on whether or not he could have done any more.

So what a responsibility now falls on Broad and Sidebottom. One down with two to play, England are in a mess, but at least they will bring ambition and youthful enthusiasm to a team that looked so flat. They will also inject some pace to the ground fielding.

The pitch in Wellington has more grass on it than Daniel Vettori would have wanted – and the groundsman might decide to take some off before play starts.

Otherwise the Kiwis will have to look at the balance of their team and opt for another seamer rather than Jeetan Patel’s off-spin.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:27 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Charle wrote:

Hold on a sec wasn't it the batsmen that let England down in Hamilton?

  • 2.
  • At 07:52 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Bob wrote:

I'm glad that harmison is dropped, though think its a bit harsh on hoggard who has been a consistent performer for us for years. Harmison was given the benefit of the doubt enough times, why not hoggard? Plus really cant see anderson doing any better. The team spirit there in the past seems to be missing. Wonder whether its from losing the ODI series, or do some of the players think there should more radical changes?!

  • 3.
  • At 07:53 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • George wrote:

Harmison is a permanent drop.

Hoggard is temporary.

Just like Prior

  • 4.
  • At 07:54 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

This was an inevitable development and Michael Vaughn deserves credit for taking this decision. I suspect he had few qualms about dropping Harmison, who seems to spend most of his career under the shadow of a large question mark. Matthew Hoggard has always been a dedicated servant of his country and county and I think Vaughn will not have taken the decision to omit his Yorkshire team mate lightly. Harmison's international may now be over. I am confident, however, that Hoggard will bounce back to his old form and may eventually be good for his 300, let alone 250 test wickets.

  • 5.
  • At 08:03 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • deepak nair wrote:

asinine decision to drop hoggard. If anybody deserved the boot it was the batsmen. They could not score runs when needed and they could not play out the overs when needed.
Vaughan is just clutching at straws here.

  • 6.
  • At 08:05 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Gourlay wrote:

Having lived in the UK for some time you soon start to see the trend when it comes to selection, when all goes wrong Sack,Sack,Sack.Yes this is so typical of the ECB,two of the finest bowlers that have ever graced the runways of this wonderful game have fallen fowl to this old English tradition,when all fails send them out to pasture.

During the winning Ashes series those boys could do no wrong,now when the chips are down its the fireing squad, yes we are talking about Hoggy & Harmison.

Take a look at your arch ennemy, yes the boys from down under, when they have problems within the ranks they only do one thing encourage encourage encourage encourage, thats how true champions return to form.

Signed Dave from Western Australia

  • 7.
  • At 08:07 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • sam shackell wrote:

harmison had to go. am surprised by hoggy getting dropped and the key thing is can we get 20 wickets for less than 600 runs??? i thought shah might have got a look seeing as strauss seems hopelessly out of form. i think whoever wins the toss will bat and win. c'mon vaughny!!!!

  • 8.
  • At 08:13 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Raverson wrote:

At last, so good to see Harmison dropped, he has just been performing poorly for so long now it was getting ridiculous. Like you say, it's his decision now whether he comes back or not.
More surprised with Hoggard, especially after the Kiwis went after Anderson in the ODIs. Perhaps it will be different in the test matches, but let's not forget Anderson's performances against Sri Lanka in the Test arena. Not so good...

  • 9.
  • At 08:18 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Lake wrote:

Charle - it was principally the bowlers that let England down as NZ should never have been allowed to get 470 in their first innings.

I think this is harsh on Hoggy, particularly as that was his first poor test for England. Harmison has had it coming for a long time and is fortunate tpo have played so many games for England recently.

  • 10.
  • At 08:21 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • STEVE NETHERWOOD wrote:

About time too...that's my feeling,especially in the case of Harmison.I'll never forget that pie chucking first over in Brisbane ,first test of the Ashes. The whole tone of the series was set on that first morning,and showed the Aussies what our mental state was like. The interview Harmison gave last week showed where his head is at. Wife and kids? fine,but if that's your choice ,make way for someone with a bit of hunger and fire in his belly.Can you imagine McGrath, Warne or Gilchrist putting ANYTHING before playing for Australia? Or Botham / Stewart for England?

  • 11.
  • At 08:29 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mal wrote:

Comment 1. Nope, although they were crap. Bowlers and fielders decide matches over a period and, although batsmen can win or lose games, you can have them fail and still win if bowlers do the business. Conversely, bad bowling and good batting will often only get you a draw. But, more often, the bowlers will have put more pressure on the bats than they can handle. As happened in this first Test.

Focus all efforts on positive and creative bowling and fielding along with controlled aggression and we'll win a few

  • 12.
  • At 08:30 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Bob wrote:

I'm glad that harmison is dropped, though think its a bit harsh on hoggard who has been a consistent performer for us for years. Harmison was given the benefit of the doubt enough times, why not hoggard? Plus really cant see anderson doing any better. The team spirit there in the past seems to be missing. Wonder whether its from losing the ODI series, or do some of the players think there should more radical changes?!

  • 13.
  • At 08:30 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ed Dawes wrote:

I totally agree with this move Aggers.. I don't think Hoggy's match fit and Harmison's mind has gone. Broad is chomping at the bit to get a run in the test side. I would've probably dropped Harmison for Broad and left it at that. But Anderson may be able to get it to do a bit.. then again when he fails.. he tends to do it big time so the jury's out on him.

Harmison's mind is more worrying... David James made similar comments when playing football for England and he was dropped for a long time. I'm not sure if he'll ever recover.. then again are we putting too much pressure on him? He had a golden two years in 04/05 and set the bar very high. His biggest mistake was quitting one day cricket.. he needs the bowling and the urgency.

I think this tour could be make or break for Michael Vaughan.. there seems to be constant pressure on batsmen like Ian Bell even when he continues to deliver the goods... then he gets demoted down the order from three to be replace by Strauss who's hardly put any form together in the last two years. Maybe it's time to clear out the old guard. Look at Wright, Shah and others and plan for the Ashes in Australia rather than trying to win it back here with the team that lost 0-5.

I think central contracts enable players to be complacent.. I wonder how focussed Harmison would be if he knew a contract was performance related in the present rather than hoping he'll click again one day.

Ed

  • 14.
  • At 08:32 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Pete wrote:

Harmison's exclusion was necessary - he simply hasn't produced the goods for a while now. But dropping Hoggard is disappointing. It's hard to fault his commitment and determination to the England cause and I hope he makes a return sooner rather than later.

  • 15.
  • At 08:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rosh wrote:

Amazing but no real surprise. After all its Michael Vaughan we're talking about it here not a Brearley or even a Gatting.

Harmison, for now, is a no brainer. But to give out the signal that Hoggard, who just five months ago was running a few Sri Lankan batsmen ragged in Colombo(not Edgbaston), is no longer good enough is off the ball altogether.
And as someone said it was not the bowling that was the main issue but the frailties in the batting.

  • 16.
  • At 08:39 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

Dropping Harmison is a must. He hasn't performed for England for a long time. Dropping Hoggard is harsh. The main problem is the batting where Bell, Collingwood and Strauss are too much hit and miss and Pietersen doesn't seem to be able to concentrate beyond 45 runs.

  • 17.
  • At 08:41 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Ellwood wrote:

This is knee jerk reaction, Harmison demise has been a long time comming but Hoggard has had one poor performance and a couple of indifferent ones, how many of the rest of the team would still be there if we applied that criterion to all?

  • 18.
  • At 08:49 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Harmison has been dropped after not turning up for three years, but Hoggard has been dropped after only one bad game. In Hoggard's case this really doesn't fit the crime, particularly as there's noone pushing for his place - Anderson played badly in all the ODIs, then did nothing in the state game, so why is he in the side?

  • 19.
  • At 08:50 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Haydn wrote:

I am really not sure I follow the logic that the bowlers get axed but the batsmen deserve another chance?

While I agree Harmison had had too many chances and his time as gone, I believe dropping Hoggard so quickly for Anderson ( who I don't believe is test match quality) is inappropriate.

Just how many chances have several of the failing batsmen had exactly. I suppose the question could be asked who else have we to but in their place as we left Ramps at home.

I will hope for a result in the 2nd test match, but it is just that.. hope...

  • 20.
  • At 08:55 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Robert wrote:

I have to agree with Charle, we scored 458 runs in 2 innings. Clearly we are not scoring enough runs. Granted we let their tail score too many in the first innings but we are always going to need more runs than that to win a test on decent wickets against decent teams.
We scored 110 runs in the second innings so we are going to drop the bowlers?

  • 21.
  • At 08:57 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

Dropping Hoggard is ridiculous - is he really a worse options than Anderson? It smacks of panic and people protecting their own position - not unlike Ashton in the rugby. Surely some of the batsmen should have been axed too - their averages have been...average over the last 2 years.

  • 22.
  • At 09:00 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Justin wrote:

If there is always a question of your commitment then maybe the commitment isn't there. Harmison can't keep protesting his desire for England when it is patently obvious that it's not there. Good luck to Broad and Anderson.

Obvious parallels with England dropping Jonny Wilkinson with a firm selection making way for the new generation - although it's easy to forget Anderson has been around a while. The right decision but I'm surprised that the entire batting lineup has survived unscathed. This was billed as a series England were expected to win comfortably so let's see how the top six respond. A few hundreds wouldn't go amiss.

  • 24.
  • At 09:01 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jennifer wrote:

I'm relieved that Broad is in for Harmison, who has not seemed committed, but do hope Hoggard, normally the most reliable of bowlers, will be back. A bit worried about Anderson, who can be very expensive. We'll see. Certainly England seem to make a habit of making an appalling mess, then making a strong come-back. I wish they would make the first couple of hours of the match exciting for those of us who'd like to get some sleep. It all seems to happen when I doze off!

  • 25.
  • At 09:01 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • tinker wrote:

As an outsider i always felt harmy was overrated.

His stats against the top teams in cricket are awful, he basically bullied some awful west indies and NZ teams in 2004 and got over rated by england fans.

If he had of been up against australia and india that year i highly doubt he would have had much success.

  • 26.
  • At 09:03 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • STGEORGE wrote:

English sport like English society and culture itself has a deep seated guilt complex .
This complex interferes with the englishman's fully cogniscent perception of reality.
Deep down , he knows that sport is a circus , a distraction from harsh reality , and never gives his very being to win .
The australians on the other hand , suffer not from this history of globalist power and circus led distortion, and ,because they have little else culturally, make sport the pinnacle of their existence, hence out perform their adverseries.
Though little realising that the australians are england's giant circus tent !

  • 27.
  • At 09:04 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dr Ron Sinclair wrote:

Jonathan is right again as far as I am concerned. I thoroughly enjoy his balanced columns. Harmison does need to make a decision: he has the potential to be amongst the elite of the world's fast men but has not shown anything since that appalling first ball we all witnessed in Brisbane a couple of seasons back. His lack of grit - homesickness, unwillingness to tour - has always concerned me. You cannot imagine a Freddie Truman, say, not really wanting to engage anywhere, any time with the Aussies and others.

I think Hoggard will come back. As soon as conditions are conducive to swing he will make his presence felt. One more point: when is Michael Vaughan going to perform? I have mentioned before the English tolerance of captains who are not worth their place in the side. Brearley is perhaps the outstanding example though it might be argued that his captaincy was so astute it made up for his mediocrity with the bat. We all know what Vaughan CAN do but, like Harmison, WHEN will he produce it again? The clock must surely be ticking for him as Jonathan seems to be suggesting.

  • 28.
  • At 09:04 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • stuart gordon wrote:

Bob Willis was right, during the test match he stated live on air that it will be the bowlers who pay for the batsmens lack of runs. 300 to get in 80 overs with 5 or 6 batsmen averaging 40+ and all due big scores after the lack of runs in Sri Lanka? The top order are very very lucky to get another chance. Pietersons footwork was abismal in the second innings. Bell batting back down the order (id prefer him at 6) is our only shining light, he helps steady our fragile tail and even got Monty to face 30 balls!!!

  • 29.
  • At 09:06 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Nick Hanson wrote:

Fair enough about Harmison, but very surprised about Hoggard. As Charle wrote, it was the batsmen that were the main problem, yet they all get another chance...double standards and as Hoggards been their best bowler for a few years now, they are obviously panicking. Lets hope the batsmen perform this time to stop putting the pressure on the bowlers all the time.

  • 30.
  • At 09:07 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • H.Leate wrote:

Vaughan spouts on saying "we must do better" when in fact its usually himself that should do better, England are an embarrassment to the country most of the time.

  • 31.
  • At 09:09 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dean B wrote:

Hey Aggers - we'll look forward to hearing your commentaries on NZ radio again in this test.

  • 32.
  • At 09:10 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • tinker wrote:

As an outsider i always felt harmy was overrated.

His stats against the top teams in cricket are awful, he basically bullied some awful west indies and NZ teams in 2004 and got over rated by england fans.

If he had of been up against australia and india that year i highly doubt he would have had much success.

  • 33.
  • At 09:10 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Glyn wrote:

Harmy has struggled for England since we won the Ashes and deserved to be dropped,I feel Hoggard has got a raw deal as he has been our best bowler for 5 years had a poor game and got dropped.How many poor games has harmison had before being dropped?

  • 34.
  • At 09:10 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Clive wrote:

The decision to drop Hoggy is absolutely outrageous and demonstrates the "headless chicken" approach the current England set up takes. Hoggy has one bad test in literally years and that's it. It stinks and Vaughan should be ashamed of himself. Bowled all out for a hundred and odd, so let's drop our best bowler. That must be a Peter Moores decision. Sure I'd get rid of Harmison, in fact I wouldn't just drop him, I'd retire him because we now know apart from wanting to be a footballer instead of a cricketer, he now prefers to think about changing nappies instead of the batsman he's bowling against.

As a massive england cricket fan all my life, I've seen some bad selection decisions, but to drop Hoggy is perhaps a worse one than picking Jimmy Anderson to replace him!

  • 35.
  • At 09:11 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • ben wrote:

feel very sorry for hoggard. but think Harmison's career may well be over. surely we need to sort the batting out though?!?!

  • 36.
  • At 09:14 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Webster wrote:

In paragraph four, it should read: "Harmison will find it tougher..."

One can never use the superlative adjective when comparing two objects.

  • 37.
  • At 09:19 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Bowker wrote:

What a joke. Vaughan should be dropped not Hoggard. He's shown no form with the bat for years and some of his captaincy decisions have been woeful. Get him out!!

  • 38.
  • At 09:20 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • albert gitonga wrote:

MV should have persevered with Hoggard , but as he is the one closest to the action I think all should support his effort in trying to get the best from the team.
I am not an Englishman, but I have followed England for some time now and cannot understand how with the talent around it is such a poor team.

  • 39.
  • At 09:20 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • stuart gordon wrote:

Bob Willis was right, during the test match he stated live on air that it will be the bowlers who pay for the batsmens lack of runs. 300 to get in 80 overs with 5 or 6 batsmen averaging 40+ and all due big scores after the lack of runs in Sri Lanka? The top order are very very lucky to get another chance. Pietersons footwork was abismal in the second innings. Bell batting back down the order (id prefer him at 6) is our only shining light, he helps steady our fragile tail and even got Monty to face 30 balls!!!

  • 40.
  • At 09:20 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dan wrote:

I'm glad to see us show a ruthless side and drop Harmison but can't say i'm too sure on Hoggard. He is a willing worker who'll run in all day for us if we want and to me looks like he just needs a few overs to get himself right. I'm a Lancs fan and can't honestly say i'm happy with Anderson ebing picked. He just isn't consistant enough although maybe we'll catch him on a good day. We need to thats for sure.

As for Harmison this has been coming since the Ashes and i can't believe it;s taken so long. His attitude is emabarassing for a professional sports man and if he does just want to stay at home with his family why doesn't he do everyone a favour and tell the selectors before they announce him in the squad.

I'd have called up Shah for Strauss aswell to be honest. He(strauss) just doesn;t look right at the minute and even though he probably like Hoggard just needs time we've not got it and Shah deserves a chance for his solid one day form aswell as him doing well the last time he played test cricket.

All in all though a positive selection and surely thigns can't get any worse!

  • 41.
  • At 09:21 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

Why drop hoggy! He has been our most consistent bowler for a long long time. Its stupidity!Its the attitude and application of our batsmen that needs looking at. Fair enough, get rid of Harmy, he is not prepared to make the sacrifices of an international sportsman and is no longer good enough but hoggy, come on he just had a bad test! Madness absolute madness. Michael Vaughan needs to look at his batsmen and captaincey before making our most consistent seam bowler of the last 8 years a scapegoat.
Anyone with half a brain would take Hoggy over Anderson.

  • 42.
  • At 09:21 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • graham wrote:

re #5, Sam - I'm getting a bit fed up with strauss bashing. You say he is out of form. He scored 2 100's in three games before the test. 1 in NZ domestic cricket and one for England in the warm up (and only Bell did likewise) so if he is out of form, then what kind of form are the rest in?

  • 43.
  • At 09:23 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Scott-Biggs wrote:

Surprised by the decision to drop the Hogster......Harmy's not been up to scratch for a long time. My real question has to with grit & determination.It's an old cliche that "when the going gets tough the tough get going." I'm not sure that our cricketers are mentally tough enough............

  • 44.
  • At 09:25 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Steven Bennett wrote:

How many chances is 'Jimmy' going to get? Everyone in the England set-up must like him A LOT. So here's his big chance (yet again) to impress us. I'm not sure he'll manage it though, he has to do better than H&H, and produce better than 1-121, to retain his place in the team. So, Hoggard is going to get back in the team, once he's trained a bit more, which means it's a shoot out between Broad and 'Jimmy' for a long run in the team. Ok, so here's what's going on here; i predict 'Jimmy' will be given the ball at the best times and well protected, and Broad will be given the ball when the batsmen are already nicely settled. Favouritism just doesn't wash with me, i'm afraid. You might think i'm joking, but i've seen it many times before with the England team.

  • 45.
  • At 09:27 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

I think that had to happen, judging by many of the English fans's commments, Harmison was ready for the axe and Hoggard was ineffective. Good on Elngland for moving forward too, Broad struck some serious fear into our Kiwi batsman during the one dayers, so who knows... As the old saying goes, one swallow don't make no summer, I think the English batsman will also be challenged to perform and the next test will have a very different outcome. If it doesn't my pick for next axing is Pietersen. He has played no-brainers the whole tour.

  • 46.
  • At 09:32 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Typical Vaughan, only 2 batsmen manged double figures in the second innings when the match was there to be won so who cops the blame? the bowlers. What a lesson in motivation. Don't they have mirrors in New Zealand Michael?

  • 47.
  • At 09:33 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Brian wrote:

In response to post number 1, the batting did not exactly cover itself with glory, but the bowling was the reason that NZ got 470 odd in the first innings, which gave the Kiwis the advantage.

  • 48.
  • At 09:33 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Webster wrote:

In paragraph four, it should read: "Harmison will find it tougher..."

One can never use the superlative adjective when comparing two objects.

  • 49.
  • At 09:33 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

Glad Harmisson has been dropped, persoanally think 2004 in West Indies was a blip, he has gone down hill every year since. Had plenty of chances.
Glad to see Broad in as I believe he is the future always seems to have plenty of fire in his belly for the fight (what Harmisson seems to be lacking).
Not sure about Anderson needs to be more consistent.

On Hoggard am suprised, I wonder whether Matthew has indicated that he really isn't in form being the good egg that he is?

  • 50.
  • At 09:34 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Berty wrote:

It does not matter who gets picked or who is dropped!! The end result will be the same..!!England will Lose again..The history is against them!!

  • 51.
  • At 09:35 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter Ellwood wrote:

This is knee jerk reaction, Harmison demise has been a long time comming but Hoggard has had one poor performance and a couple of indifferent ones, how many of the rest of the team would still be there if we applied that criterion to all?

  • 52.
  • At 09:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Graeme Edgar wrote:

wow, i, like you Jon, love the Hogster and will miss him if it is the end, but i would back him to return. I admire this selectorial decision as the platter served up in the first test was nowhere near good enough. Lets see the hunger - Shane Warne was right - we need to shut up and perform.

  • 53.
  • At 09:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Steven Bennett wrote:

How many chances is 'Jimmy' going to get? Everyone in the England set-up must like him A LOT. So here's his big chance (yet again) to impress us. I'm not sure he'll manage it though, he has to do better than H&H, and produce better than 1-121, to retain his place in the team. So, Hoggard is going to get back in the team, once he's trained a bit more, which means it's a shoot out between Broad and 'Jimmy' for a long run in the team. Ok, so here's what's going on here; i predict 'Jimmy' will be given the ball at the best times and well protected, and Broad will be given the ball when the batsmen are already nicely settled. Favouritism just doesn't wash with me, i'm afraid. You might think i'm joking, but i've seen it many times before with the England team.

  • 54.
  • At 09:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Keith, Glasgow wrote:

If Anderson is the answer, it was a helluva strange question. He was truly dreadful in the ODIs. Broad for Harmison is absolutely right. To dump Hoggard after one off game is disgraceful - he has been magnificently consistent for years. If the batsman got the same treatment, they'd be changing 3 every game - it wasn't the bowlers who screwed up on Day 5 was it? Kevin Pietersen - mind your back - long time since you did anything serious in a test match - or an ODI come to think of it?

  • 55.
  • At 09:38 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Matt Slater wrote:

I think that had to happen, judging by many of the English fan's commments, Harmison was ready for the axe and Hoggard was ineffective. Good on England for moving forward too, Broad struck some serious fear into our Kiwi batsman during the one dayers, so who knows... As the old saying goes, one swallow don't make no summer, I think the English batsman will also be challenged to perform and the next test will have a very different outcome. If it doesn't my pick for next axing is Pietersen. He has played no-brainers the whole tour.

  • 56.
  • At 09:40 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Berty wrote:

It does not matter who gets picked or who is dropped!! The end result will be the same..!!England will Lose again..The history is against them!!

  • 57.
  • At 09:45 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Liz wrote:

Glad Harmisson has been dropped, persoanally think 2004 in West Indies was a blip, he has gone down hill every year since. Had plenty of chances.
Glad to see Broad in as I believe he is the future always seems to have plenty of fire in his belly for the fight (what Harmisson seems to be lacking).
Not sure about Anderson needs to be more consistent.

On Hoggard am suprised, I wonder whether Matthew has indicated that he really isn't in form being the good egg that he is?

  • 58.
  • At 09:49 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • stuart gordon wrote:

Bob Willis was right, during the test match he stated live on air that it will be the bowlers who pay for the batsmens lack of runs. 300 to get in 80 overs with 5 or 6 batsmen averaging 40+ and all due big scores after the lack of runs in Sri Lanka? The top order are very very lucky to get another chance. Pietersons footwork was abismal in the second innings. Bell batting back down the order (id prefer him at 6) is our only shining light, he helps steady our fragile tail and even got Monty to face 30 balls!!!

  • 59.
  • At 09:50 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Keith, Glasgow wrote:

If Anderson is the answer, it was a helluva strange question. He was truly dreadful in the ODIs. Broad for Harmison is absolutely right. To dump Hoggard after one off game is disgraceful - he has been magnificently consistent for years. If the batsman got the same treatment, they'd be changing 3 every game - it wasn't the bowlers who screwed up on Day 5 was it? Kevin Pietersen - mind your back - long time since you did anything serious in a test match - or an ODI come to think of it?

  • 60.
  • At 09:51 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dan Murphy wrote:

I'm surprised Hoggard has been dropped, but would have been more surprised if Harmison hadn't been.

I'm looking forward to seeing Broad push a claim for the number 8 berth alongside his consistency as a bowler, and I hope Jimmy takes a hatful of wickets to wake the selectors up to the fact that a few nets and some time in the gym is no substitute for overs under the belt - like Jimmy has got in the last 14 days.

Agers is spot on in saying that Hoggy is the more likely of the two to come back, but not only because of his consistency over the years, but because of his style of bowling.

Relying on swing and guile to take his wickets offers him a greater chance of a comeback than Harmison, who relies on pace and bounce - both much harder to regain.

Hopefully the new blood will bring a renewed vigour to the side that was sadly missing in the First Test, plus Broad and Anderson will improve the fielding levels of the side in place of Harmison and Hoggy - despite the later's Champagne Moment at Hamilton!

  • 61.
  • At 09:51 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mike Rodgers wrote:

Can anybody answer me as to why the greater majority of comments on this site seek to embellish the faults of the English squad and believe...I mean truly believe that they are one or two selection changes away from completely sticking it to this colonial club side who stands in the way of them completing a series win?

Can we all just step back and accept that this is New Zealand at home with their confidence up and a lot more support than they had a week ago.

As a Kiwi (and a rugby fan) I know only too well what asumption is the mother of and just wish some of the posters would view this as a series to be ferociously contested over the next two tests rather than a series for the English to lose.

Sorry...rant over but a bit of impartiality wouldn't go astray.

  • 62.
  • At 09:51 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • RICHARD wrote:

I am a Yorkshireman and l have umpired Michael Vaughan many times,and he is a good captain, but l think its the batsmen he should be looking at,Hoggard should be playing, every one has bad games including Vaughan.

  • 63.
  • At 09:58 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • BRIAN D wrote:

Vaughan is still kidding himself! He said he 'HAD A GUT FEELING' change was needed!!!:)) Was he not at the game? It stuck out like a sore thumb that changes had to be made! Hoggy should have been kept on. Harmy-- no need for expanding on this decision. Another point; headline states VAUGHAN MAKES CHANGES, then he starts using the royal 'WE' Are there 2 selectors there now they stopped Miller abandoning ship?

  • 64.
  • At 10:00 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • will thomas wrote:

A little churlish to drop Hoggard so early. Also a very starnge decision to put Strauss in at 3 (after a career of opening!) and to push Bell down the order. I think this uncertainty reflects the fact that we do not know our best side.

Will, Malta

  • 65.
  • At 10:02 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Danny Longhorne wrote:

Have we lost the plot- Harmison yes and long overdue but Hoggard! He is still our top ranked test match bowler, had a great warm up match and yes he underperformed on a flat pitch but is Jimmy Anderson a better bowler- New Zealand will be quaking in their boots. England have a problem with misplaced loyalty- we back Harmison for two and a half years when clearly he just doesn't have the appetite and jettison Hoggard after one ordinary match who has been our top performer and always gives his best. Unbelievable!

  • 66.
  • At 10:02 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • TJ wrote:

should have played 5 bowlers, thats when we have had our most success recently and kept hoggard in and not jimmy, he has been proven not to be good enough. Strauss very lucky to have another chance

  • 67.
  • At 10:02 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Creative David wrote:

How unlucky for Hoggard. He would surely have come good in the next match - he was obviously underprepared. MATCH PRACTICE is what counts.
For the first time I think Vaughan has got it wrong.
It takes a batting captain to only think of dropping bowlers!

  • 68.
  • At 10:03 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

the quicker vaughan and moores are got rid out of the better.
the only problem in the bowling is harmison who deserves to be dropped, hoggard does not.
the batting is where changes are needed, it seems vaughan will pick anyone but shah, shah should have played in sri lanka and should be playing now, we know nothing about how good he is while hes sitting on the sidelines and batting 6 in the one day team. if he is that awkward to deal with whats he doing out there?
strauss shouldnt be in the squad either but we show faith to him as an experienced senior player, but not to hoggard, no wonder were a mess.

  • 69.
  • At 10:03 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Joey Blinez wrote:

I completely agree with both decisions. If Hoggy is out of form he shouldn't be played, regardless of past history. He is undercooked and not ready so I applaud the decision.

I think we need to blood new bowlers and use hoggy sparingly now if he isn't delivering. All players should be fighting for their places, a poor run of 3 games should result in being dropped. It fosters healthy competition and means they know they have to perform. Worryingly Harmy, Freddie et al know if they are fit they'll play regardless of preparation or form. It's unhealthy and central contracts need to be reviewed on a regular basis to remove this complacency.

  • 70.
  • At 10:06 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rich the ditch wrote:

Harmison deserved to get the axe and I'd never play him again for England but the decision to drop Hoggy is disgraceful.He's been consistantly Englands best bowler for 5 years now and i feel that Moores and Vaughan are using him as a scapegoat to hide their own failings.As for selecting Anderson,what a total joke.He was useless in Sri Lanks and the one dayers,and for the State side he had an outing for.
I just feel that the England side is in disarray at the moment and is there for the taking!!

  • 71.
  • At 10:13 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Lee wrote:

On face value this couldn't be a worse time to make such a drastic decision - by that I mean Hoggard. Of, course we all knew Harmison (despite his past glory) was not good enough to be playing in the current England team and hasn't been for a while. But by removing another experienced bowler in Hoggy, England go out to face a confident Kiwi squad with Vaughan having to captain a new and largely untested bowling unit in the test arena. Of course, I hope I am wrong but if the powers that be believe that it was the England bowlers that ultimately failed, hence putting the pressure on our batting line up that so miserably capitulated on the final day in the last test, surely the pressure to perform with the ball is even greater now and I'm not sure Broad and Anderson will have the confidence or experience to go out there and take it to the Kiwi's in what is a must win game!

  • 72.
  • At 10:14 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Freddy wrote:

Feels less like strong leadership than self preservation. If Harmison & Hoggard came on tour undercooked, we've just dropped them both after they got 5 days of meaningful cricket in them, which Broad and Anderson haven't had. Seems very harsh on Hoggard, but if you're picking a batsman to drop, maybe the spotlight might fall on another old stager who's not contributed meaningful runs for a good while. If Vaughan's batting doesn't improve and his motivational powers are spent, it's time he went.

  • 73.
  • At 10:14 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rob Whittle wrote:

Good decision. If Sidebottom was not a swing bowling factor, Hoggy might has stayed. However we need wickets/ without giving away masses of runs and Hoggy isn't in the groove.

I suspect Broad will do OK chipping in with 2-3 wickets per innings, keeping things tighter. This is what we need. Wouldn't it be nice to have Freddie available now, but not an option. Anderson I suspect will get a few more wickets, and be a out swinging threat as a strike bowler, with the ODI cap off and behind.

This change does sent a message to the top six batsman..|"perform" big score now overdue..Shah is in the wing..good form, hungry and Collys or Strauss's positions under threat if no significant contributions next match.

  • 74.
  • At 10:14 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Vic wrote:

How come the hopeless batsmen get a chance to redeem but the bowlers face the firing squad?

  • 75.
  • At 10:18 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • marginalcomment wrote:

The right decisions were made. In the case of Hoggard, it is a tough one, but the right one. Anyone who saw the game would have seen that Hoggard was off the pace.

These decisions send a message that bowlers must be ready from ball one of a series and that is exactly the message that needed to be sent.

OK the batting was poor on the last day, but many a side has collapsed on a last day pitch and it was right to give them another run. But they have to start producing hundreds. Otherwise it is would be unfair to Ramprakash not to bring him back.

  • 76.
  • At 10:23 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dollinski wrote:

I quite agree with everything Aggers has said. I feel for Harmison though, as a father of two myself, I can appreciate what it must be like to be on the other side of the planet from your children. There's no doubt that it will have an effect on you and certainly lower your spirits. That said he must make the choice and if his heart's in Durham thats where he should be as well! Make way for somebody else, you can't have it both ways and its no good for England Cricket.
I also feel sorry for Hoggy. He has been consistenly good for England. If only Petersen were as consistent as Hoggy!
Hopefully this shake up will give our boys the encouragement they need and find them off to a flyer in the second test. Come on England!

  • 77.
  • At 10:24 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Barry wrote:

I look forward to seeing Broad flourish in his role as a test bowler over time BUT if Anderson becomes Harmison Mark II. Who else is there to turn to in the County ranks as a genuine pace man?

  • 78.
  • At 10:25 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ian Bate wrote:

Anderson was badly treated compared with Harmison Against India last summer when we lost 1-0 (the same top six batsmen failed in deciding Test, so what's new) Anderson took 14 wickets including opener Jaffer(3 times) Dravid (2) Tendulkar (3) and Ganguly (2) so he can knock over the top order. He may expensive in one-days but so was Courtney Walsh for the Windies and he was a pretty good Test bowler.
And finally get fit soon Freddie. They can't blame you for this little lot

  • 79.
  • At 10:26 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Welford wrote:

I've watched this team grow up together over a period of time. From the miracle win against South Africa back at the Oval in 2003 until the Ashes win in 2005. But now is no time for sentimentality. The shocking truth is that we are in danger of losing three test series in a row. And that is something that has not happened for a long, long time. It is time for a change in direction. I don't see wholesale changes as the answer however.

I'm one of Harmy's biggest fans, but if his heart and mind aren't on the field then there is no point in picking him. Send him back to county cricket and see how much hunger he has really got. Hoggard is a dedicated servant to England and wears his heart on his sleeve. I'm sure that dropping him is only a short term measure. Stuart Broad deserves a run in the side. He would be Harmison's replacement. But in the summer I'd like to see him alongside Hoggy, Sid and Monty in the attack. And hopefully Fred will return.

Batting is an interesting one. Ian Bell should have stayed at 3. He's earned it. He's been very consistant the last couple of years. Vaughan and Cook to open i think. Strauss should not have got back into the side on the back of a warm up hundred. Shah deserves his opportunity.

Lets just hope we turn it round and win the remaining two games. Things can only get better after a performance as bad as the one in the first test match.

  • 80.
  • At 10:33 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • DD wrote:

Completely agree with most of the other posts. Harmison deserves to be dropped and has been given the benefit of the doubt for too long, although this also reflects the inexperince of possible replacements in Broad and Anderson. Personally, I would have persisted with Hoggard and think he will be missed given the likelihood of the pitch being seam friendly early on. Strauss could not conceivably have been dropped one test in to his comeback; although in the first test he hardly played a shot in anger and now seems far too introspective in how he bats. Moreover, in my view, he never really deserved a recall to test cricket. Finally, why play Strauss at number 3 when he is an opener (to accommodate Vaughan as an opener??). Once again, we have fallen into the trap of trying too hard to mould the team around individuals rather than the other way round.


  • 81.
  • At 10:34 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andrew Yeandle wrote:

Just seen the news that Steve Harmison and Mathew Hoggard have been dropped for the second test. To drop SH was expected and probably long overdue. Everyone has said that a long spell back in county cricket would do him the world of good. The dropping of Hoggard is another thing. He has always given his best for England and to drop him after one mediocre performance is harsh. It smacks of reacting to press criticism. There was a case for dropping one of the batsmen but give them another chance and then drop several if there is a failure. It is interesting to compare this decision with the one taken by Brian Ashton yesterday in the rugby. England Rugby lost because of Jonny Wilkinson and England lost because of the opening bowlers ??

Can I suggest everyone reads the article in The Times this morning by Simon Barnes.

Andrew Yeandle

  • 82.
  • At 10:34 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • DD wrote:

Completely agree with most of the other posts. Harmison deserves to be dropped and has been given the benefit of the doubt for too long, although this also reflects the inexperince of possible replacements in Broad and Anderson. Personally, I would have persisted with Hoggard and think he will be missed given the likelihood of the pitch being seam friendly early on. Strauss could not conceivably have been dropped one test in to his comeback; although in the first test he hardly played a shot in anger and now seems far too introspective in how he bats. Moreover, in my view, he never really deserved a recall to test cricket. Finally, why play Strauss at number 3 when he is an opener (to accommodate Vaughan as an opener??). Once again, we have fallen into the trap of trying too hard to mould the team around individuals rather than the other way round.

  • 83.
  • At 10:35 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • simon carbery wrote:

Personally, I don't see that anyone apart from Collingwood, Bell and Sidebottom have really shown any sort of consistent international form so far. The problem is, drop Vaughan, Strauss, Pietersen et al, and who do you replace them with? Rob Key and Mark Ramparakash? I can't think of anyone else waiting in the wings. Can you?

  • 84.
  • At 10:35 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Dropping Hoggard will turn out to be a total disaster - the man consistently gets wickets when none of the other bowlers are firing. I agree with the other comments regarding batsmen leading charmed lives in the side - surely Hoggard deserved at least 5 more matches before we thought about dropping him?!

  • 85.
  • At 10:36 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Barrow wrote:

110 all out so Vaughan/Moores drops two bowlers.

After such a devastatingly poor show when we had a legitimate chance of victory - I would have preferred to have seen a radical shake-up, bringing in all of the squad (except Anderson, who was inept in the one-dayers), and calling up Charlie Shrek who is playing in Wellington and is a promising prospect not a tired has-been.

Attack, score at 4 an over, put them under pressure, and attack again - sound familiar? Australia's formula for the last decade or more.

My Team would be:
Mustard
Vaughan
Cook
Pietersen
Bell
Shah
Ambrose
Swann
Broad
Sidey
Shrek

Can't do worse than the last line-up?

  • 86.
  • At 10:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Gary Knowles wrote:

why drop Hoggard for Anderson when the latter has struggled in the ODI's?? This is a must win Test and therefore the pressure is on, Anderson has not proven that he is capable of bowling in NZ so why give him extra pressure?? Hoggard and Sidebottom to open the bowling on a more seamer friendly wicket going by NZ's decision to bring in a quickie and drop a spinner. Headless chickens come to mind!!!!!

  • 87.
  • At 10:42 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • etienne123 wrote:

shameful decision to bomb hoggard - how long ago was it he had sri lanka 42-5 on his own? he just needed a game under his belt - albeit a test.
anyway, was it the bowlers' fault that we surrendered to 77-9, with one batsmen taking an hour for two runs?

  • 88.
  • At 10:48 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

It's about time they dropped Harmison but Hoggard is a staggering decision Anderson was far from world class in the ODIs had a relatively poor game for Auckland is is back in very strange just like the decision to drop and then bring back Strauss. I would have gone with

Vaughan
Cook
Peitersen
Bell
Collingwood
Shah
Ambrose
Broad
Sidebottom
Hoggard
Panesar

  • 89.
  • At 10:51 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Sushil wrote:

Where is Simon Jones nowadays? Hasn't seen him in last 3 years since Ashesh? I wonder has England not got over the hangover from Ashes 05!!

  • 90.
  • At 10:52 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Barrow wrote:

110 all out - time for some radical action. So we drop two bowlers.

It was such a shockingly poor performance in the last test, when we actually had a legitimate chance to WIN. I wanted to see an appropriate response for this test - DROP AS MANY OF THE CULPRITS AS FEASIBLY POSSIBLE and bring in the rest of the squad - keen and hungry to prove themselves.

And then ATTACK, score at 4 an over, put them under pressure and attack again - sound familiar - it has been Australia's method for years.

I would also have drafted in Charlie Shrek for the inept Anderson who was cannon fodder in the one-dayers.

Too radical? I reckon this team would do no worse than the last line-up:

Mustard
Vaughan
Cook
Pietersen
Bell
Shah
Ambrose
Swann
Broad
Sidey
Shrek

  • 91.
  • At 10:58 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • etienne123 wrote:

shameful decision to bomb hoggard - how long ago was it he had sri lanka 42-5 on his own? he just needed a game under his belt - albeit a test. as for anderson, if he hasn't done it by now, he never will.
and was it the bowlers' fault we surrendered to 77-9, with one batsmen taking an hour for two runs?

  • 92.
  • At 10:58 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Stan wrote:

I totally agree with the decision to drop Harmison. It is difficult for me to say that being a Durham lad. He's pretty much like Ramprakash really - can perform for his county but not at test level.

  • 93.
  • At 11:00 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • g wrote:

i'm also fed up with the Strauss bashing. to my mind he has been exemplary.

contrary to most of the ill-informed bwallz spouted on here - he HAS, by any international team's standards, proved he has some form with three hundreds in various warm-up games.

and here's a player who has never once publicly moaned or groaned or griped - despite pretty hamfisted treatment by the England set-up...

make him captain and bell vice.
drop colly and tell him to focus on one-dayers. get shah in at 5. team's a good'n.

  • 94.
  • At 11:01 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

By picking Anderson I would say we have managed to reduce the control of the opening bowling attack and weaken the batting line up.

  • 95.
  • At 11:04 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

By picking Anderson I would say we have managed to reduce the control of the opening bowling attack and weaken the batting line up.

  • 96.
  • At 11:08 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Birdie wrote:

I can't believe the English would drop Hoggard. He and KP are the only quality players in the team. As for James Anderson - well that guys is a joke. I seriously believe that a scarecrow installed at fine leg would be of more use than him.

I cant believe it took so long to dump Harmison. Just to put things into perspective Harmison gets paid more than the Prime Minister of England. It pains me to say it but I think that the country gets more value out of Gordon.

Anyone know the odds at William Hill on a 3-0 whitewash?

  • 97.
  • At 11:08 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Sut wrote:

Batsmen fail again - solution drop the pace bowlers. Is this anything to do with having a (failing) batsman captain?

  • 98.
  • At 11:13 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • wolfski wrote:

I think the England bowling and batting coaches should be dropped! We never seem to be prepared for test matches or do the basic things right. Cricket is a great game but you need to be prepared both mentally and physically and England for quite some time now are coming up short in all departments. Get a grip!

  • 99.
  • At 11:13 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • vikrant wrote:

I am an Indian but have been following English (test) cricket for quite some time now..

"Hoggard dropped from England test team" - this is definitely a shocker.

Hoggard has been one of the better performers in the English side. A few failures and he is out !! just look at the numerous chances few others have got to prove themselves...

Despite of good performances over a long period of time, Hoggard has had to 'prove himself' every time he went out to bowl !!

His case reminds me of V V S Laxman from the Indian Cricket team [test]...

I just hope he is back in this English side soon !!

  • 100.
  • At 11:18 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • David wrote:

Somewhat disappointing news. A bowler has a few bad games and gets dropped (or for Hoggard one bad game). A batsman like Strauss manages to average in the 30s for the 3 years and still retains his place.

So, the man who is showing terrible form, even in his recent New Zealand domestic cricket debut, James Anderson, gets back into the test side? Give me a choice of a potentially out of form Hoggard and James Anderson and I will pick Hoggard every time.

Harmison, like Strauss, has been living on his reputation, so needed to go.

  • 101.
  • At 11:18 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • James Pickering wrote:

I fell really soory for Hoggard, he has been Englands most consistant bowler for years, one bad game and he is dropped, unlike Harmison that has been poor, very poor for a couple of seasons now, but gets in the team because he has something different, yes, he bowls of the cut strip regularly. Something not right there. Then Vaughan said the batters need a second chance, but Hoggard doesn't, again, the most consistant England bowler and player. I like the inclusion of Broad for Harmison, should of been done previously when Harmison was throwing down melons. I agree with Aggers, if harmison wants to sack of England then fine, but for now stop mincing and moaning it, and messing perople about, you either want to play cricket for England or you don't and at the moment he doesn't, he is a liability. Thanks for the 7-12, will always be a great highlight of mine, but now, goodbye.

Dropping Hoggard is plain stupid.

He is class and improving his fitness.

Harmison is old news - and needs to be gone.

  • 103.
  • At 11:33 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Amir wrote:

I have a strong feeling the only reason for dropping Hoggy was to make Harmison feel a bit good!

  • 104.
  • At 11:37 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • etienne123 wrote:

shameful decision to bomb hoggard - how long ago was it he had sri lanka 42-5 on his own? he just needed a game under his belt - albeit a test. as for anderson, if he hasn't done it by now, he never will.
and was it the bowlers' fault we surrendered to 77-9, with one batsmen taking an hour for two runs?

  • 105.
  • At 11:38 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Stevie wrote:

Hoggard must be a bit disgruntled, if Jimmy's the only alternative. But this just shows how much England miss Simon Jones. Harmison was gone as soon as he spoke to Nasser Hussain last week. He's been a rabbit in the headlights of most batsmen recently, and you could see him getting more and more desperate as the interview went on.

That said, England's batting line-up really need to show in this game. All of them have averages of 40 or better, and yet in the last two test's they have been bowled out for 80 & 110. These totals do not win games, and rarely draw them. Looking forward to England provideing the answers tonight, but not confident in the slightest. NZ will have their tails right up.

  • 106.
  • At 11:52 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jonny Hogg wrote:

I don't think Anderson is a test player, he has been in and out of the team for years. He never gets in the team for his own performances only when others in the team fail to perform themselves.

  • 107.
  • At 11:55 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Owen Keith wrote:

Dave Gourlay (No6) wrote that the Aussie’s always encourage their men where as England just bin them and move on. How many test series has Harmison had to do the business? How long did Gillespie get after the 2005 Ashes?

  • 108.
  • At 11:59 AM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Strauss should have been dropped as well- it has been a case of diminishing returns for quite a while with him now. I would like them to look at bringing Steve Kirby in next summer- if you want a confronational, aggressive strike bowler, then he is your man.

  • 109.
  • At 12:00 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Birdie wrote:

I can't believe the English would drop Hoggard. He and KP are the only quality players in the team. As for James Anderson - well that guys is a joke. I seriously believe that a scarecrow installed at fine leg would be of more use than him.

I cant believe it took so long to dump Harmison. Just to put things into perspective Harmison gets paid more than the Prime Minister of England. It pains me to say it but I think that the country gets more value out of Gordon.

Anyone know the odds at William Hill on a 3-0 whitewash?

  • 110.
  • At 12:01 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jeremy Hartwell wrote:

Dear Aggers,

I can only agree with all those who say the decison to drop Hoggard is harsh - extremely so, I would say, unless he is considered to be unfit.

Harmison's dropping is long overdue. He has been living on the reputation of his spectacular performances in the Caribbean and his brief spell as Number 1 bowler in the world for far too long. His performances since then have been patchy to say the least, and he has let England down many times, most spectacularly during the Ashes series down under.

When, however, has Hoggard let England down? OK, he may have had one poor Test, but he has performed heroically for England on several occasions, at times when it was least expected of him, e.g. in India.
This kind of treatment of an honest, whole-hearted, committed Cricketer sends out all the wrong messages.

One gets the impression, I'm sad to say, that Vaughan didn't have the guts to sack Harmison alone, to whom the England set-up have been pandering for years on the grounds of his potential 'match-winning' status. (It has remained at potential. When did Harmison last win a test for England abroad?)

It seems that Hoggard is being used to turn this into some kind of radical change of policy, one of bringing in younger bowlers, because just to drop Harmison would have meant admitting the folly of pandering to him for so long.

In sum, a poor decision, likely to demotivate Hoggard, when it was Harmison, whom nothing seems to motivate, who had to go. Let's all wish Hoggy a swift and triumphant return!

  • 111.
  • At 12:01 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • simon wrote:

Hoggard should feel hard done by. Harmison should be packing his stuff, the England team need to make a break for the future and stop imagining Freddie will come back to save us, the future is in Broad and players like him. I hope he does well and that Hoggy is back soon.

  • 112.
  • At 12:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Justine Smith wrote:

I can't believe Hoggie has been dropped. Our most consistent bowler who always gives 110%.Anderson won't be any good, he's inconsistent and lacks experience - he needs to go back to the county game and learn how to play like Sidebottam did. Harmison does not deserve an England cap and frankly should go home and play county cricket as he just doesn't want to play for England.

  • 113.
  • At 12:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Owen Keith wrote:

Dave Gourlay (No6) wrote that the Aussie’s always encourage their men where as England just bin them and move on. How many test series has Harmison had to do the business? How long did Gillespie get after the 2005 Ashes?

  • 114.
  • At 12:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Graeme wrote:

Harmison - agree, drop him and send him home.
Hoggard - Don't agree - will Anderson bring anything different?

On another note - Charlie Shrek bowling in New Zealand for Wellington this summer - why not pick him?? He's ben knocking on the door a while!!

  • 115.
  • At 12:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tom wrote:

It's an absolute disgrace that Hoggard has been dropped! He has been consistently England's best performer over the last few years and does the hard yards wherever he goes, a show of absolutely no loyalty.

In stark contrast the batsmen have all been given another chance, despite Shah having earned a chance at least as much as Broad. However, i think Vaughn is coming in for undue criticism, his record since returning to the captaincy is not any worse than the other batsmen, and his technique is still the best in the team.

  • 116.
  • At 12:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Crocker wrote:

England have new selectors, coach and a new draft to follow within the Schofield Report but still appear to be working under the tutelage of Duncan Fletcher Ashes series of 06/07.

In selecting Stephen Hanrmisson for the first test the selectors appeared to wish to continue in keeping faith in a player who had contributed little in the past four England series.

They discarded Shah who scored well in the only three day warm-up game for Andrew Strauss who had not gone to Sri Lanka, and had played in NZ league, but failed in the warm-up game.

It appeared to follow the Fletcher route of above all keep faith in players who had won the Ashes, but whose form did not negate their selection.

The 2nd test; Harmisson has rightly been dropped but Mathew Hoggard omission after a poor test is surely the management’s fault for not giving little warm-up opportunities, and so incorrect.

The selection of Anderson and Broad is a huge risk. Leaving out Hoggard who has been so consistent in taking wickets and holding up an end in the last four years. The pressure for Broad & Anderson is great, but more on Sidebottom as he is going to have to carry the attack, and hope the newcomers can support.

Andrew Strauss now has to be picked as poor Shah has not and any completeive cricket when he should have been picked in the first place.

Ship missing a rudder does come to mind.

  • 117.
  • At 12:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Owen Keith wrote:

Dave Gourlay (No6) wrote that the Aussie’s always encourage their men where as England just bin them and move on. How many test series has Harmison had to do the business? How long did Gillespie get after the 2005 Ashes?

  • 118.
  • At 12:06 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Maybe we, as England cricket fans, need to face up to the reality that our team are not as good as we think they are. I think this has been true since 2005. The same can be said of the football team. Perhaps the media must take some blame for hyping our chances (and belittling the other teams). Every series (or fottball tournament), according to the media, has our name on the trophy right up until the first salvos are fired, at which point the media turns on the team. Let me meake it clear, I am not defending Harmison. His lack of effort was clear for all to see. I am just saying perhaps we need to adjust our expectations.

Maybe it would have been better if we only drew the 2005 ashes series. Maybe the team would not have rested on their laurels and been spurred on to improve their game - just a thought.

  • 119.
  • At 12:06 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Francis wrote:

where did liam plunket (might have butchered his name there)??? he was pretty decent. i cant see why jimmy is getting a chance over hoggy he was horrible! hoggy has had one bad but. why do we have to be so recactionary??? thank god harmy is dropped.

  • 120.
  • At 12:07 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • paul wrote:

As they say in cricket, 'bowlers win matches, batsmen save them.' With the decision to drop two bowlers, while ignoring the failure of the batsmen, Michael Vaughan has highlighted just what makes English cricket the beast it is today - a game of selfish politics.

Let's take a look at the batsmen in question;

Cook: fine, leave him be

vaughan: finished as a batter and as a captain.

Strauss: why would you bother. Why would he bother - hopeless.

Pietersen: Necessary, but has fallen away dramatically, as if he doesn't care or believe.

Bell: at least has heart, but not a match winner and never will be.

Collingwood: should be made captain now.

What's more, Mark Ramprakash would have made a huge difference to the middle order.

Vaughan and co care more concerned about their spot in the team, than the performance of the team. Vaughan must fall on his sword.

  • 121.
  • At 12:09 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Graham wrote:

Well I'm sorry Dave but I think you've lost the plot a little bit. It's all very well jumping onto a debate about English selection and using it as an opportunity to waffle on about the greatness of Australia.
Surely if things arent going well and players arent performing then they deserve to be dropped. Harmison has had chance after chance. Englands perseverence with him seemed to know no bounds. He more than deserves to be dropped. Hoggard on the other hand is bordering on ridiculous and smacks a little of desperation.

  • 122.
  • At 12:13 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • manwithbighair wrote:

the hoggster should not be dropped like this unlike harmison who should have been dropped 18 months ago. i can't beleive we have got rid of our most reliable and least injury prone seamer.
disgusted.

  • 123.
  • At 12:15 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jeremy Bradshaw wrote:

Broad in for Harmison was a certainty, and a correct decision.

Anderson for Hoggard is a surprise, and a MISTAKE. Anderson's only very occasionally test class, Hoggard had one poor match after years of consistent service - the backbone of our attack.

  • 124.
  • At 12:16 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

I wholly agree with your comments Aggers. Harmison has had his time, it is time to move on and forget. I was more surprised at the Hoggard omission. Having said that, given how poorly he bowled in Hamilton and in the third test in Sri Lanka. I hope he can rediscover his form playing for Yorkshire and be in contention for a recall for the first test against New Zealand in England. I do however feel the worst, remember Jason Gillespie’s dramatic fall from Australian side during the 2005 Ashes.
Moving on to the other comments posted, we are all appalled by how poorly England performed in Hamilton with the bat. Come to mention it, the Sri Lanka series too. People are calling for heads to roll, and rightly so, unless the situation improves soon. Posts regarding the captain’s position in the side spring particularly to mind. Anyway, to form clear opinions, lets look at some statistics since the last Ashes series. In that time, England have employed just 8 different specialist batmen to fill 6 spots in 11 tests. In that time, their numbers are thus:
Vaughan: 10 matches, 833 runs @ 46.28, 100s: 2, 50s: 4
Cook: 11 matches, 950 runs @ 45.24, 100s: 3, 50s: 5
Strauss: 8 matches, 424 runs @ 28.27, 100s: 0, 50s: 3
Pietersen: 11 matches, 985 runs @ 49.25, 100s: 4, 50s: 1
Bell: 11 matches, 757 runs @ 42.06, 100s: 1, 50s: 7
Collingwood: 11 matches, 789 runs @ 41.53, 100s: 2, 50s: 40
Bopara: 3 matches, 42 runs @ 8.40, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Shah: 1 match, 10 runs @ 5, 100s: 0, 50s: 0
Immediately springing to mind from these statistics, are the lack of runs from Strauss, the very reason he was dropped for the Sri Lanka series. Why he was recalled we shall never know. Bopara has missed out in New Zealand because of his poor run in Sri Lanka. Shah played just the one test, so it is not fair to comment.
So taking the other 5 batsmen who have played the majority of the test between now and then, Vaughan is 3rd highest run getter, with the second highest average, with an average in excess of his career average. So perhaps Vaughan is not England’s issue with the bat. It is Bell and Collingwood which have suffered the leanest run of these 5 batsmen.
I know people will query the affect that the series against the West Indies had in this period, when all the batsmen filled their boots. So in Englands last 7 tests (Since the first test against India last summer):
Vaughan: 7 matches, 582 runs @ 41.57, 100s: 1, 50s: 4
Cook: 7 matches, 552 runs @ 39.43, 100s: 1, 50s: 3
Strauss: 4 matches, 256 runs @ 32, 100s: 0, 50s: 2
Pietersen: 7 matches, 519 runs @ 39.92, 100s: 2, 50s: 0
Bell: 7 mathces, 530 runs @ 40.76, 100s:0, 50s:6
Collingwood: 7 matches, 430 runs@ 33.08, 100s: 0, 50s: 4.
So in England’s last 7 test, Vaughan is statistically England’s best batsman. He may not be making the big 100s he did in his pomp 5 years ago, but he is still proving he has a lot to offer England as a batsman. It is the others, namely messer Collingwood and Strauss, who should really be feeling the heat about a lack of runs!

  • 125.
  • At 12:22 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • SatBav wrote:

Is it me or should Owais Shah just come home right now, he has done everything possible to deserve a go, gets dropped in the second warm up game to give Strauss yet another chance, which in fairness he took, but what could Shah have done to influence this. No batters paying the price for a shocking display in the second dig, ridiculous!

Harmison out is a no brainer but with Broad and Anderson in a side we may may allow periods of the game to go past with limited control, if this happens with Mccullum at the crease then the game could change very quickly for the worse...

  • 126.
  • At 12:22 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rob wrote:

Vaughan & Moores have got it so wrong. Dropping Hoggard is a big mistake.
If we dropped someone for one bad game we would be taking a squad of 22 to every tour. The only players deserving to keep their places were Sidey, Monty & Belly.
I look forward to Hoggard's return in the first test match of our summer, or if Anderson or Broad (hope it goes well for him) bodge it up, next week.

  • 127.
  • At 12:23 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Brent Day wrote:

Hmm

So let me get this right.

Despite a not-too-great bowling performance at times, the English bowlers got England into a genuine winning position.

Which the batsmen proceeded to throw away with a display that was breathtaking in its ineptitude, even by Englands almost perennial abysmal standards! The same batsmen who have been unable to buy anything like a century for almost too long to remember.

So it's 2 bowlers that get dropped but not one of the useless, technically-bereft, gutless excuses that pass as an English batsman!~

Good selection policy!!!

  • 128.
  • At 12:26 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • James wrote:

I cannot believe how long Harmison has ridden on the back of his West Indies perfomance in 2003 (I think) He has been poor since the 2005 ashes and even then his performances were masked by us winning the ashes. How has Harmison lasted so long and Hoggard gets no chance to regain form altogether? I would take an off form Hoggard over James Anderson any day of the week, Anderson is outrageously expensive for his returns in wickets. He was ruined by being selected when he was too young. I fear we might do the same with Broad.

  • 129.
  • At 12:30 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Willc77 wrote:

Although i've always been a big fan of Harmison it is clear that he is no longer as committed. For me he just doesn't look to be enjoying what he is doing and i agree with dropping him. However i feel it is extremely harsh to drop Hoggard who has clearly been the most consistent bowler of recent times. With the exception of Sidebottom everyone else has a hell of alot to prove!

  • 130.
  • At 12:31 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tim Crocker wrote:

England have new selectors, coach and a new draft to follow within the Schofield Report but still appear to be working under the tutelage of Duncan Fletcher Ashes series of 06/07.

In selecting Stephen Hanrmisson for the first test the selectors appeared to wish to continue in keeping faith in a player who had contributed little in the past four England series.

They discarded Shah who scored well in the only three day warm-up game for Andrew Strauss who had not gone to Sri Lanka, and had played in NZ league, but failed in the warm-up game.

It appeared to follow the Fletcher route of above all keep faith in players who had won the Ashes, but whose form did not negate their selection.

The 2nd test; Harmisson has rightly been dropped but Mathew Hoggard omission after a poor test is surely the management’s fault for not giving little warm-up opportunities, and so incorrect.

The selection of Anderson and Broad is a huge risk. Leaving out Hoggard who has been so consistent in taking wickets and holding up an end in the last four years. The pressure for Broad & Anderson is great, but more on Sidebottom as he is going to have to carry the attack, and hope the newcomers can support.

Andrew Strauss now has to be picked as poor Shah has not and any completeive cricket when he should have been picked in the first place.

Ship missing a rudder does come to mind.

  • 131.
  • At 12:40 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Dowling wrote:

Again bowlers are paying for batsmens' failures. Harmison is shot IMO and needs to be jettisoned from the England set up completely - no contract renewal, no retainer, nothing. His heart and soul are no longer in the game.

Dropping Hoggard after one poor game smacks of caving in to the media's baying for blood. Hoggard has always been the least appreciated, least recognised and least applauded of England's fast bowlers by the majority of people.

Harmison claims to "try his nuts off" every time he plays. With Hoggard you can see that effort; there's a huge difference there.

If dropping people after one poor game is the returning mentality then Vaughan, Strauss, Cook and possibly Collingwood had better watch out. For me the jury is now out on Vaughan's captaincy.

It wasn't the bowling that lost us the last test match, it was a chronic lack of confidence and poor batsmanship.

  • 132.
  • At 12:40 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • leopards not wrote:

Forget the bowlers you've dropped, what about the batsmen you haven't? Selectors blame bowlers for batsmen's shortcomings.

As an Australian, I have lost patience with the Oz selectors, why no David Hussey alongside his brother?

Why does Shah get continually overlooked for Strauss? (Perhaps it's racizm, don't mention the war!!) Is that positive discrimination, favouring Strauss, or negative, disfavouring Shah?

Regards
John T

  • 133.
  • At 12:43 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • addison marshall wrote:

This is my team for the 2nd test.Vaughn,Robert Key,Compton,Pietersen,Bell,Collingwood,Ambrose,Broad,Sidebottom,Hoggard,Panesar. Get Key and Compton to New Zealand.

  • 134.
  • At 12:45 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • PeterTennant wrote:

The removal of Hoggard demonstrates that England are now dangerously close to returning to the 'old days' of selection by form, rather than class.

Hoggard is number 11 in the LG ICC Cricket rankings, higher than any other England bowler. What possible EVIDENCE is there to justify the selection of Anderson over Hoggard?! I'm an Anderson fan, don't get me wrong, but no-one in their right mind would expect him to be more useful than Hoggard, who's been the backbone of our attack for many years. Is this indicative of a wider problem in society where quietly successful and hard working people are chronically underappreciated?

What of the coaching team? Why is Kevin Shine exempt from criticism, when it is his arrival that so correlates with the decline in the performance of England's bowlers (note that under Donald, Anderson our bowlers improved markedly, but sadly he didn't stay)?

If the England management are going to behave this desperately, then the lot of them should go.

  • 135.
  • At 12:49 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave wrote:

The problem with England is not one match or tour. We are not simply not good enough for some reason. In most team sports, things go in cycles (Rugby Union is good example), and at present, I don't think we have enough world class players available. You can't pick players who don't exist. When batting, we have one good session, followed by 3 bad ones. When a batsman gets a few runs, and an interval comes, he gets out within the first over or two of the next session. Fielding (the last match excluded) is average at best. Bowling is as erratic and inconsistent as a car with a blow out on a motorway. When we get a decent bowler, why are they always injured? Concentration - or lack of - come to mind, money another. Ask yourself, how many of our team would get into Australias's, SA's, India's or even Sri Lanka's? The answer is a round figure - and you're fooling yourself if you think differently.

  • 136.
  • At 12:49 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jamie Dowling wrote:

Again bowlers are paying for batsmens' failures. Harmison is shot IMO and needs to be jettisoned from the England set up completely - no contract renewal, no retainer, nothing. His heart and soul are no longer in the game.

Dropping Hoggard after one poor game smacks of caving in to the media's baying for blood. Hoggard has always been the least appreciated, least recognised and least applauded of England's fast bowlers by the majority of people.

Harmison claims to "try his nuts off" every time he plays. With Hoggard you can see that effort; there's a huge difference there.

If dropping people after one poor game is the returning mentality then Vaughan, Strauss, Cook and possibly Collingwood had better watch out. For me the jury is now out on Vaughan's captaincy.

It wasn't the bowling that lost us the last test match, it was a chronic lack of confidence and poor batsmanship.

  • 137.
  • At 12:52 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Gill wrote:

Like many who have wriiten before me, I feel really sorry for Hoggie. He really doesn't deserve to be dropped...and to replace with Anderson is surely madness (Bound sure to be proved wrong now!!) Harmison should be dropped...his interview on the telly showed a man who doesn't seem to know what he wants and has too fragile a mind to be in the test arena. I also can't believe that Strauss has kept his place...someone please explain why!

  • 138.
  • At 12:55 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • addison marshall wrote:

This is my team for the 2nd test.Vaughn,Robert Key,Compton,Pietersen,Bell,Collingwood,Ambrose,Broad,Sidebottom,Hoggard,Panesar. Get Key and Compton to New Zealand.

  • 139.
  • At 12:56 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Johnboy wrote:

Hioggard is a surprise. harmison less so, he had to go. he hasnt been the same Bowler since Troy Cooley left.

funny that.....

  • 140.
  • At 12:57 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Stephen Nicholson wrote:

Harmison had to go,I"m originally from Darlington and Harmison has become an embarassment to our region.All he ever goes on about is his family and how much he misses home.Get a job in a local factory and then you can stay at home and play with yout teddy bear.As for Peter Moores he seems a bit soft and maybe Englands cricketers need a reality check from a Capello type figure.

  • 141.
  • At 01:01 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

Coming off the back of a test played on one of the most batsman friendly surfaces, it's daft that the bowlers have taken all the blame here. Dropping Harmsion was obvious but not Hoggard after one poor performance. How bad does the batting have to get to drop one of them?

  • 142.
  • At 01:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • David Cooper wrote:

Sorry, but it simply isn't true that the bowlers were the cause of England losing the first test.

Yes, they should have prevented NZ from scoring 470 in the first innings, but whose fault was it that the England batsmen then occupied the crease for 20 overs longer than NZ and yes scored 120 runs less?

And who was it who then restricted NZ to less than 150 runs with 9 wickets down in the second innings?

And who was it who capitulated to 110 all out on the last day.

Sorry, but however you slice it dropping two bowlers and doing nothing about the batting lineup is pathetic.

  • 143.
  • At 01:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Steve A wrote:

I think dropping Hoggard is a disgrace. One bad game in 4 years! To be fair he wasn;t even that bad, yes perhaps lacking a bit of zip but as always trying wholeheartedly in the cause.

Anderson has consistently proved that he is not up to the mark. He may well take some wickets in this test but totally lacks consistency and has little control of length and line.

I am very very angry about Hoggard who after all carried the whole bowling attack in Australia just a year ago

shocking decision

  • 144.
  • At 01:02 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • james wrote:

If it's time to usher in a new era, why Anderson - in all my time watching him over the past 4 years or so he's been in and out I've never been impressed. Not fast enough, lacks control and a proper cricketing brain.

Broad has a bit of the international about him in pace and height (two Fletcher-esque-screw-the-talent principles that probably kept Sidebottom out for longer than he should have been).

Cook is the nearest thing to "new blood" with a touch of international class to him we've had in a long time and even he's gone quiet.

To be honest these changes fill me with as much excitement as when Illot, Ealham, Salisbury, Maddy, Brown, etc etc etc were brought in and while great County players just don't hack the international game.

Prepare for some very lean years to come.

  • 145.
  • At 01:09 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jed wrote:

Fantastic,How can anyone suggest that Strauss has not desrved his place back in the side. He showed great poise and balance, sitting on the sofa since he was dropped. Why would you drop batsmen just because they are out of form and not mentally up to it. It is obvious that the team were very well prepared for the first test, so no critisism for the Management there. It is not reasonable to suggest that the selectors made any sort of error in selecting the squad or the team. That only leaves the bowlers. Obvious really, Harmison can't help being home sick and not thinking of the ball he is about to bowl, so Hoggy, all your fault. Well done the Management. Brilliant.

  • 146.
  • At 01:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Doug wrote:

I think harmison's dropping should be temporary, it was not long ago harmison was one of the top five bowlers in the world, and there is no reason why he can not find the form he once had, he is constantly given a short amounts of time, eg going to south africa for a few weeks, to find his form, he needs more overs in match situations. there is no one else like hime in english cricket, tremlett and broad are not quick enough to be in the same league.

  • 147.
  • At 01:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ray wrote:

Richard Lake: What utter rubbish; out for less than 120 and the batsmen are not to blame! And why is panesar still around?

Its the Jonny Wilkinson syndrome! Drop the most senior high profile players to deflect the criticism away from the rest of the team. Its clever but very short term.
There suddenly becomes no direction or development to the team when decisions seem to be taken based on public concensous.
Don't forget it was Fletchers single minded-ness that made the team soar in the test rankings.

  • 149.
  • At 01:14 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • albert conroy wrote:

Good....theyv'e finally got rid of" can't bowl straight or fast any more" Harmison. Hard luck Hoggy but class will tell and he'll be back. Now let's finish the job by getting rid of"Iam the greatest, but I only get a good score every five innings"...Pieterson and Michael Vaughan who is not worth his place as a batsman.
Collingwood for captain and bring in Owais Shah instead of Pieterson.

  • 150.
  • At 01:15 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Do the selectors know where they are? Who's going to bowl into the Wellington wind with no hoggard? As a kiwi I couldn't be happerier to see the back of your best swing bowler.

  • 151.
  • At 01:17 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ieuan, Port Talbot, UK wrote:

Hmmm.

I agree with these changes, but there should have been at least one batting change as well. If only to bring in a few different ideas.

However I worry that had Vaughan dropped a batsman then questions would be asked over why that peson and not vaughan himself. Here's hoping he didnt bottle it for that reason.

  • 152.
  • At 01:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Yu Himm Fung wrote:

I think there is real concern for Harmison as he is prone to being homesick and England will end up with a situation similar to Marcos Trescothick on their hands

Dropping Hoggard is a bit harsh having been injured in the summer last year and he has never let England down in the past

I think Vaughan has to think about about preparing bowlers that couldbe leading England's attach against the Aussies for the Ashes in 2009 as it is unlikely that England will be able to field the famous 4 again.

There is still a problem with the batting namely after Kevin Pietersen whether Bell and Collingwood are good enough to occupy the crease and defend the tail.
Shah should be given a chance to replace either of these two


Whilst Strauss is lucky to be back in the team dropping him again would be ridiculous in the circumstances they've selected him in the 1st place

The test match last week England were outplayed for 4 of the 5 days in all departments it has to be said

  • 153.
  • At 01:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Anonymous wrote:

Paragraph four should read: "...Harmison will find it tougher to get back."

One can't use a superlative adjective when comparing two objects.

  • 154.
  • At 01:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Webster wrote:

Paragraph four should read: "...Harmison will find it tougher to get back."

One can't use a superlative adjective when comparing two objects.

  • 155.
  • At 01:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Teesdale wrote:

I think the majority of posts have been quite tame on this - in my view dropping Hoggard after one below-par display in about 5 years, is quite simply a disgrace.

If I was Hoggy, I'd pack my bags and say goodbye to international cricket after treatment like that. Luckily for England, Hoggy is not me and will no doubt work hard and get his place back when the selectors realised Anderson's obligatory 4-ball per over is not what is required at test level.

  • 156.
  • At 01:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ray wrote:

Richard Lake: What utter rubbish. Unable to reach 120 runs and you say the batsmen are not at fault!And what is Panesar still doing around?

  • 157.
  • At 01:21 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Thurstan wrote:

Finally someone has identified the real problem. Selection. We continually select on past reputation, not current form. For me separate sides for one day and test cricket does not work on tour, especially when there are so little opportunities for first class games before and between the test matches. It can work at home because the players not directly involved can play for their counties etc. Harmison for me is finished. Hoggard would have benefitted from two or three first class games before the test. The batsmen have disappointed, but do we have that many options in the tour party?

  • 158.
  • At 01:22 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Teesdale wrote:

I think the majority of posts have been quite tame on this - in my view dropping Hoggard after one below-par display in about 5 years, is quite simply a disgrace.

If I was Hoggy, I'd pack my bags and say goodbye to international cricket after treatment like that. Luckily for England, Hoggy is not me and will no doubt work hard and get his place back when the selectors realised Anderson's obligatory 4-ball per over is not what is required at test level.

  • 159.
  • At 01:26 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Doug wrote:

I think harmison's dropping should be temporary, it was not long ago harmison was one of the top five bowlers in the world, and there is no reason why he can not find the form he once had, he is constantly given a short amounts of time, eg going to south africa for a few weeks, to find his form, he needs more overs in match situations. there is no one else like hime in english cricket, tremlett and broad are not quick enough to be in the same league.

  • 160.
  • At 01:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • jactd wrote:

Vaughan is a reactionary idiot. It's him who should herald the end of an era - his own. Why come out and say that? At the end of the day, it wasn't actually the bowlers who lost us that match, it was him and the rabble of a top six we have at the moment.
Suddenly the 'feelgood' factor under Peter Moores seems less and less how English players should be coached. They don't need a best friend to have a relaxed training session with, they need a coach who will instill discipline. English batsmen in glass houses should not throw cricket balls.

  • 161.
  • At 01:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

I dont see why Vaughan should get a say in who plays or doesnt play - how can that be objective.

He has been below par himself for years and rarely comes up with the goods, so who is he to say should or should not be in the team.

The selectors should pick teams.

  • 162.
  • At 01:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • nbakewell wrote:

Anderson?

Need I say more?

  • 163.
  • At 01:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ray wrote:

Richard Lake: What utter rubbish; out for less than 120 and the batsmen are not to blame! And why is panesar still around?

  • 164.
  • At 01:28 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NQ wrote:

It falls on the captain to lead by example by actually performing his role as a player before that of a captain. Vettori is a good example in the last test and as much as it pains me to say it Ponting is the best example. He had a terrible series against India and Australia lost the One dayers and came a few lucky decisions away from losing the test series.

When Vaughan was performing a couple of years ago so were the rest of the team. Anyone who has ever played cricket, or any sport for that matter, at even a semi serious level knows you look to your skipper to set the tone - One lazy bit of fielding, one dropped catch, one unwitting comment in an interview saying the first test is just a warm up to get acclimatised and the rot can set into the team very quickly and that's exactly what we saw in Hamilton. Vaughan approached the game negatively so his trusting troops did too. You can drop who ever you like but as long as the captain is a drain on the team he won't get the best out of them.

Vettori did all his talking on the field, Vaughan did all his in the press room. It's up to Michael Vaughan alone to turn this series around by scoring some runs and playing like a test captain, not just talking like one.

  • 165.
  • At 01:32 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Matthew Barton wrote:

In the short term, this decision had to be made and I think it is the right one. I hope Broad can cement his place in the side and continue to improve, and that Anderson can show the sort of form that Alan Donald managed to get out of him in his short time with England. Long term, the problems lie with the management, who need to look at why it is so difficult for players with Central Contracts to turn up ready for the start of a tour. This is especially important for the bowlers, and Harmison in particular struggles for rythm when he has not played much cricket. I agree that Hamison has to be dropped now, but I believe that he has been let down by the management and coaching staff and has not gone on to be the bowler that he should have been. We need to get in a decent bowling coach, in my opinion we should break the bank to get Donald back, and then make sure that our bowlers go into every future international series with plenty of match practice.

  • 166.
  • At 01:33 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Thurstan wrote:

Finally someone has identified the real problem. Selection. We continually select on past reputation, not current form. For me separate sides for one day and test cricket does not work on tour, especially when there are so little opportunities for first class games before and between the test matches. It can work at home because the players not directly involved can play for their counties etc. Harmison for me is finished. Hoggard would have benefitted from two or three first class games before the test. The batsmen have disappointed, but do we have that many options in the tour party?

  • 167.
  • At 01:33 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Hoggard has had 1 bad test and he's found himself dropped at the same time as Harmison who has had numerous bad tests over the last 3 or 4 years, to me the decision is at little rash and unusual for Vaughan, as he's normally quite level headed.

  • 168.
  • At 01:33 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy Teesdale wrote:

I think the majority of posts have been quite tame on this - in my view dropping Hoggard after one below-par display in about 5 years, is quite simply a disgrace.

If I was Hoggy, I'd pack my bags and say goodbye to international cricket after treatment like that. Luckily for England, Hoggy is not me and will no doubt work hard and get his place back when the selectors realised Anderson's obligatory 4-ball per over is not what is required at test level.

  • 169.
  • At 01:34 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • nige weir wrote:

Lets get behind this side now and will them to win the second test. On paper we have another good cricket team ready to go :) If Broad and Andersen deliver the goods and we win this test match, then surely we are starting to understand who will play in the future and where we will play them in the line up. I like the look of this team.

  • 170.
  • At 01:35 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • WG wrote:

You English supporters are a funny bunch. First, it's going to be a clean sweep as none of the NZ players are good enough to clean your team's boots. Now you want to drop them all. Obviously very few of you have a clue. I suggest watching more cricket from all over the world, then you might have a realistic view of where your players and team rank. Cricket matches aren't won by right. These two teams were very evenly matched from the start and continue to be so. The only thing that really favours the Kiwis is a better mindset amongst players and supporters alike. FYI - the pitch suited spin and batters in Hamilton. Wellington will suit the bowlers, and you drop your two most experienced. Hmmm.

  • 171.
  • At 01:36 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan Barr wrote:

Having read the comments nearly everyone has the same sentiment. Harmison has had it coming for ages but England's most reliable consistent bowler of recent years has had one poor performance and he's dropped! There must be something going on that we haven't heard about because the management can't be that stupid. Harmison will shrug his shoulders and slope off but Hoggard's are much broader, he's been carrying the attack single handedly for a lot longer than he should. I'm confident that he'll be back. Let's just hope it's sooner rather than later.

  • 172.
  • At 01:37 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NQ wrote:

It falls on the captain to lead by example by actually performing his role as a player before that of a captain. Vettori is a good example in the last test and as much as it pains me to say it Ponting is the best example. He had a terrible series against India and Australia lost the One dayers and came a few lucky decisions away from losing the test series.

When Vaughan was performing a couple of years ago so were the rest of the team. Anyone who has ever played cricket, or any sport for that matter, at even a semi serious level knows you look to your skipper to set the tone - One lazy bit of fielding, one dropped catch, one unwitting comment in an interview saying the first test is just a warm up to get acclimatised and the rot can set into the team very quickly and that's exactly what we saw in Hamilton. Vaughan approached the game negatively so his trusting troops did too. You can drop who ever you like but as long as the captain is a drain on the team he won't get the best out of them.

Vettori did all his talking on the field, Vaughan did all his in the press room. It's up to Michael Vaughan alone to turn this series around by scoring some runs and playing like a test captain, not just talking like one.

  • 173.
  • At 01:37 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jed wrote:

Fantastic,How can anyone suggest that Strauss has not desrved his place back in the side. He showed great poise and balance, sitting on the sofa since he was dropped. Why would you drop batsmen just because they are out of form and not mentally up to it. It is obvious that the team were very well prepared for the first test, so no critisism for the Management there. It is not reasonable to suggest that the selectors made any sort of error in selecting the squad or the team. That only leaves the bowlers. Obvious really, Harmison can't help being home sick and not thinking of the ball he is about to bowl, so Hoggy, all your fault. Well done the Management. Brilliant.

  • 174.
  • At 01:39 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Lizi wrote:

How refreshing to hear an International England player talking about his family and how much they mean to him. Everyone talks about what a decent chap Harmy is and like any decent bloke he'll take on board the comments his peers say so instead of slating him why not encourge him? If his confidence is down he doesn't need kicking any further especially by people he respects!

  • 175.
  • At 01:40 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NQ wrote:

It falls on the captain to lead by example by actually performing his role as a player before that of a captain. Vettori is a good example in the last test and as much as it pains me to say it Ponting is the best example. He had a terrible series against India and Australia lost the One dayers and came a few lucky decisions away from losing the test series.

When Vaughan was performing a couple of years ago so were the rest of the team. Anyone who has ever played cricket, or any sport for that matter, at even a semi serious level knows you look to your skipper to set the tone - One lazy bit of fielding, one dropped catch, one unwitting comment in an interview saying the first test is just a warm up to get acclimatised and the rot can set into the team very quickly and that's exactly what we saw in Hamilton. Vaughan approached the game negatively so his trusting troops did too. You can drop who ever you like but as long as the captain is a drain on the team he won't get the best out of them.

Vettori did all his talking on the field, Vaughan did all his in the press room. It's up to Michael Vaughan alone to turn this series around by scoring some runs and playing like a test captain, not just talking like one.

  • 176.
  • At 01:40 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Adrian Crossley wrote:

The selectors have taken far too long to take action on Harmison`s continualy poor performances. He shouldn`t have been included in the tour. But sacking Hoggard is ridiculous. He`s been our most consistent bowler for years. So he had 1 rotten performance in the first test and he gets the chop - how many chances did Harmison get?
Was this Vaughan`s decision? In his TV interview, his body language indicated something between guilt and apology. It certainly didn`t come over as a new and exciting initiative.
Of the replacements, I`d happily give Broad a go but Anderson? he has shown nothing to suggest he is even adequate at test level

  • 177.
  • At 01:41 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NQ wrote:

It falls on the captain to lead by example by actually performing his role as a player before that of a captain. Vettori is a good example in the last test and as much as it pains me to say it Ponting is the best example. He had a terrible series against India and Australia lost the One dayers and came a few lucky decisions away from losing the test series.

When Vaughan was performing a couple of years ago so were the rest of the team. Anyone who has ever played cricket, or any sport for that matter, at even a semi serious level knows you look to your skipper to set the tone - One lazy bit of fielding, one dropped catch, one unwitting comment in an interview saying the first test is just a warm up to get acclimatised and the rot can set into the team very quickly and that's exactly what we saw in Hamilton. Vaughan approached the game negatively so his trusting troops did too. You can drop who ever you like but as long as the captain is a drain on the team he won't get the best out of them.

Vettori did all his talking on the field, Vaughan did all his in the press room. It's up to Michael Vaughan alone to turn this series around by scoring some runs and playing like a test captain, not just talking like one.

  • 178.
  • At 01:44 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • neil wilson wrote:

I can understand Harmison being dropeed but if Anderson is a better bowler than Hoggard then I know nothing about cricket.
Why has Bell being demoted to NO 5 and Strauss accomodated at No 3.
Shah has had a rough deal.Bell should be at 3 and Shah at 5.
Why is Swann on tour.He may as well be the baggage man.Panesar is a walking wicket and is hardly tweaking the ball.A case for Swann to come in at 8 and strengthen the batting?

  • 179.
  • At 01:45 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NQ wrote:

It falls on the captain to lead by example by actually performing his role as a player before that of a captain. Vettori is a good example in the last test and as much as it pains me to say it Ponting is the best example. He had a terrible series against India and Australia lost the One dayers and came a few lucky decisions away from losing the test series.

When Vaughan was performing a couple of years ago so were the rest of the team. Anyone who has ever played cricket, or any sport for that matter, at even a semi serious level knows you look to your skipper to set the tone - One lazy bit of fielding, one dropped catch, one unwitting comment in an interview saying the first test is just a warm up to get acclimatised and the rot can set into the team very quickly and that's exactly what we saw in Hamilton. Vaughan approached the game negatively so his trusting troops did too. You can drop who ever you like but as long as the captain is a drain on the team he won't get the best out of them.

Vettori did all his talking on the field, Vaughan did all his in the press room. It's up to Michael Vaughan alone to turn this series around by scoring some runs and playing like a test captain, not just talking like one.

  • 180.
  • At 01:46 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Phil wrote:

I agree that the specialist batsmen should have done better but the initiative was handed to New Zealand who went from 191-5 to 425-7 in less than 60 overs.

  • 181.
  • At 01:47 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Lizi wrote:

How refreshing to hear an International England player talking about his family and how much they mean to him. Everyone talks about what a decent chap Harmy is and like any decent bloke he'll take on board the comments his peers say so instead of slating him why not encourge him? If his confidence is down he doesn't need kicking any further especially by people he respects!

  • 182.
  • At 01:50 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • CJ wrote:

Glad to see the back of Harmison - all his moaning about missing his family - he's lucky he is not fighting in the army - then he would have something to moan about - I bet they miss their families too. I fear cricket is going the same way as the England football team - too many overseas players joining english clubs and English youngsters missing out on gaining experience and coming up through the ranks

  • 183.
  • At 01:52 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

Crikey, I didn't see the Hoggard one coming I have to say. Very sad day in that all of the 'famous five' from 2005 are now finished as frontline England bowlers. Great shame that 2005 was it and that they never bowled again as a unit. Totally unconvinced by Anderson who has been in and out of the side more times than I could recall, surely someone has taught him by now to be looking at the batsmen at the point of delivery and not his left shin!!!!

  • 184.
  • At 01:54 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Rayemon wrote:

I dont think Board or Hoggard good choice. But England have good bowlers in under 19-team. espessially Haris.

  • 185.
  • At 01:57 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Brendan wrote:

Dave from Western Australia - you can encourage Harmison all you want, as has been the case for a number of years now, but if he's not performing he has to go. Agree that axing of Hoggard is harsh, and anderson unlikely to be better. Would love to see Hoggy come back from this.

  • 186.
  • At 01:57 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Eric wrote:

Obviously something needed to be done to wake up the team.

Totally agree with dropping Harmy - I can't see ANY point in selecting him again unless his "mate" Freddie is back and doing the business. Harmison is far too weak-minded to survive at this level on his own!

Not so sure that Hoggy deserved to be the other scapegoat. After all, he has rarely let England down and would most probably have reacted positively if he was simply "told" by the management that he needed to up his game.

Surely the more culpable team members for our dismal displays recently are the batsmen. Was there no consideration to giving Shah an opportunity?

  • 187.
  • At 01:58 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Patrick wrote:

Steve Netherwood,

Did you know that McGrath stopped playing for Australia from January 2006 until the ICC Trophy in India because his wife had cancer or something?

  • 188.
  • At 02:01 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • markoose wrote:

i don't think the England team's problems are half as bad as the meedja would like them to be.

let's hope Harmison has enough self-respect to work hard for the squad in the short term.

Strauss and Shah should both be in the team. it's a shame we're carrying a jaded, deadweight, over-the-hill captain.


  • 189.
  • At 02:03 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Malcolm Robson wrote:

I think Anderson has always had one quality - the ability to take wickets. Sinc ehis return from injury he has improved his control and is worth a shot. He cant be any worse than Harmy surely!

Broad will be an england regular for years to come. Hoggard is very unlucky to lose his place.

Anderson and Broad will improve our tail which in the last match was pathetic.

Genetic science is the only way we will ever dominate world cricket where the clones of Edrich, Boycott, Gower, Cowdrey, Gatting (C), Botham, Knott, Botham, Botham, D'oliveira and Graveney (T) will keep us atop the rankings!

  • 190.
  • At 02:14 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ben DJ wrote:

Good change by Vaughan. I still cant understand why people stil rate Harmison, he destroyed a weak West Indian side 4 years ago and has done nothing since. Form is permanent and class is temporary, and we all know which catergory Harmison is. Hoggard... we will miss you, but an excellent opportunity for the young guns

BOWLING MONTY!!!!

  • 191.
  • At 02:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

As a Kiwi who lived in the UK for 6 years before moving to Madrid (where I get little or no cricket on tv) I have had the opportunity to see the media both in the UK and in NZ. Very similar I have to say and it is disappointing. There always seems to be someone witing to cut down the next sign of talent. I have to say that the Australians do a great job at nuturing their talent and allowing it time to flourish. They then reap the benefits of what talent they allow to grow....something I as a New Zealander would love to see.

With regards to England's current selection issue there does seem to be a hint of panic. Hoggard seems an honest bowler and perhaps deserved the benefit of the doubt. Harmison is the worst type of player. He is the guy that has been given all the god given abilities but is lazy. As a Kiwi I have to say that I think Strauss should have been dropped.

But then again, when we talk about dropping, we have to talk about handing out call ups.....Is their better quality outside of the current line-up....maybe, but could it be that really you don't have the talent? I have been reading these boards throughout the series and I have seen the kiwi team being called distinctly average, little more than an average county team..... Well that may be true, if you break down the components of a team into 11-13 individual parts which seems to be the case....but when those distinctly average players put on their black caps they understand that if they are going to win they have to do it as a team, be innovative, challenging the other team always because skillswise....they don't cut it, they simply don't have the resources. Maybe England should take a leaf out of the Blackcaps book....Build the team first then let the skilled players you have (Pieterson, Bell, Sidebottom) flourish from a stable base. You see, to me England has the same disease the All Blacks have....they enjoy hero worship relying on a few star performers then don't do the business......It will have to be a mental change in the England camp to win, not necessarily a personnel change....Good luck to you....and to my Kiwi boys.....hard work lads, lap it up

  • 192.
  • At 02:20 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

See my previous comment, Vaughan has scored more runs than the rest since his recall! (If you remember that Pietersen and Cook scored 100s in the game Vaughan missed last summer, that will take their totals in the last 10 tests to virtually the same as Vaughan in Pietersen's case, and less than in Cook's case!)

  • 193.
  • At 02:29 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

I am so angry about Hoggy. He is the best and most consistent bowler by miles.

back to the bad old days we go !

I hope we get hammered then perhaps the captain and coach might look at themselves more closely.

We won't bowl the Kiwi's out with this attack and remember they don't need to win again, 2 draws will be fine by them.

Look at the stats people, the only reason we lost was the gross negligence of our batsmen.

We bowled them out for 647 runs in two innings. Thats fine in TM cricket by anyones standards.

Very very bad decision. Yo rerap what you sow and I hope we do in abundance and it will serve us right.

rant over

  • 194.
  • At 02:30 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mick watson wrote:

Having read almost 150 comments on this subject, I am pleased to see that the dropping of Hoggy seems to be, in the large majority view, a major error. Hoggy has been the one overall consistent player, always honest, unassuming and gives everything, He has had only had one poor game (the last one).
Maybe if he fitted the 'bling' version of our overpaid sportsmen he would fit in better.
An absolute disgrace on the most honest grafter in this 'image is all' side of current losers.

ps. how come all the 'batsmen' retain their places, Vaughny included?

  • 195.
  • At 02:32 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • al wrote:

Webster

Can you show mw a superlative in that sentence. There is a comparative which seems perfectly correct to me.
In fact when talking about Vaughan and his gang there is precious little need of superlatives.

  • 196.
  • At 02:34 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • LEE wrote:

Harminson shouldnt be playing for England!He has no bottle and hasnt performes well now for a long time!Could you see the Aussies keeping someone in their side who was underperforming!I say good riddance!

Also about time big headed pieterson started scoring some runs!!!!

  • 197.
  • At 02:36 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • helen wrote:

I think dropping Harmison was inevitable....but Hoggard is another story. Isn't the man entitled to one off match considering how well he has performed for his country.

As to Michael Vaughn - he has hardly set the batting world alight but noone appears to be questioning his preparation. The bowlers bowled England into contention in the first test - the negative tactics of the captain and his batsmen lost us the match. Surely he doesn't have automatic selection just because he is captain?

  • 198.
  • At 02:56 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • algyzira wrote:

The 2005 Ashes team has been cursed. Starting with Simon Jones at Old Trafford and going right through till now almost all have had serious injury or catastrophic loss of form. Ironically, the most consistent over 3 years has probably been Bell, and he was hopeless in 2005. I suspect Australian witchcraft.

  • 199.
  • At 03:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Richard Lake wrote:

Ray (163) - you make think it's utter rubbish but put it into context

120 all out on a deteriorating pitch when the when the opposition have struggled to 180 all out.

Allowing the oppostion to get 470 in the first innings at a run rate far greater than the pitch should have allowed is a much greater crime.

Hoggard is unlucky to be dropped, but compare his and Harmison's economy rates to the rest of the bowlers in the match.

Oh and Panesar is still around because we need to take 20 wickets.

  • 200.
  • At 03:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ted. Harrison wrote:

I would say that the main causes of the defeat were the under preparation of the test side both batting and bowling. The responsiblity for that must rest on the coach, selectors and captain. Matthew Hoggard has been the most reliable and consistently under rated bowler dating to even before Vaughan took over the captaincy and dropping him is complete lunacy and unfair. What is the bowling coach doing?

  • 201.
  • At 03:10 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Shushil.patel@gmail.com wrote:

How can you drop Hoggard for a bowler that doesn't even look where he's bowling, Anderson wouldn't get into any other test side

  • 202.
  • At 03:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • natasha wrote:

Methinks there could be fireworks on the first morning. If I was New Zealand captain I would choose to bat and stick McCullum in to open - a few overs of McCullum v Anderson and Anderson will be hiding down at fine leg for the rest of the match. McCullum could well have the first hundred before lunch in a test match for a long time.

Once his confidence has gone Anderson is no better than Harmison and considerably worse than the half-fit Hoggard who played in the last game.

England would then have only two effective bowlers (Panesar won't be up to much and see NZ are bringing in Gillespie for Patel so they can't be expecting any turn).
NZ scoring 600+ in first innings!


On a second point I think England should have a radical re-think of their batting lineup. If I was MV I would bat Stuart Broad at number 3. Unlike some of the others (Strauss, Collingwood, Pietersen in particular) he seems to have the appropriate amount of Moral Fibre for international cricket.

Discuss

  • 203.
  • At 03:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Joey wrote:

Harmison's not been the same since The Ashes in '05 and even then he wasn't near the heights he set in the Caribbean in 2004. Fair play to the selectors for dropping him.
Hoggard on the other hand seems to have been dealt with rather harshly. He's had one bad game here and has been as consistent as anyone for England over the past few years. It's not like we've got someone in tip-top form taking his place. I'd actually rather see Hoggard in the ODI team than Anderson who was embarassing in the limited overs series in NZ.
Broad for Harmison is fair enough but Anderson for hoggard seems massively wrong!!

  • 204.
  • At 03:22 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • NSK wrote:

Dropping Harmy wans't ruthless, it would have been if he had been dropped 3 years ago. Hoggy will come back. MV is probably over the hill. MV, Strauss and Colly should be esaed out over the next 12 months. Blood some one new....if they fail, they will learn and in 2 years there will be a decent team. To start with anyone who mouths "take the positives" should be axed and never be considered again.

  • 205.
  • At 03:25 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Round the Bend wrote:

Why is everyone saying that Vaughan has dropped H&H? Surely, post Scofield, this has been a collective decision from Moores, Vaughan and Whitaker (and possibly Miller)?

  • 206.
  • At 03:27 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Nigel Mallender wrote:

I think Charlie sums it up when he said "hold on a minute wasn't it the batsmen that let England down".... why is it when the team have a nightmare of a game its always the bowlers that are first to be "culled"?

Totally agree with the decision to drop Harmison - he's been a liability since the Ashes 2005 but dropping Hoggard? For so long England's best bowler and Mr Reliable... I cannot fathom the thinking behind it. Knowing the professional Hoggard is he will just get on with it but if I was him I'd be feeling seriously aggrieved and thinking seriously about any offer from the IPL if it were to come.

  • 207.
  • At 03:31 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dayle Stancliffe wrote:

One bad game and Hoggards out, give the lad a break he's just got back from injury! Broad and Anderson are both not good enough for test match cricket, Hoggard on the other hand will be back and should not have been dropped.

However I do believe it is RIP Steve Harmison. "He could not find his rhythm"

  • 208.
  • At 03:43 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • DD wrote:

Completely agree with most of the other posts. Harmison deserves to be dropped and has been given the benefit of the doubt for too long, although this also reflects the inexperince of possible replacements in Broad and Anderson. Personally, I would have persisted with Hoggard and think he will be missed given the likelihood of the pitch being seam friendly early on. Strauss could not conceivably have been dropped one test in to his comeback; although in the first test he hardly played a shot in anger and now seems far too introspective in how he bats. Moreover, in my view, he never really deserved a recall to test cricket. Finally, why play Strauss at number 3 when he is an opener (to accommodate Vaughan as an opener??). Once again, we have fallen into the trap of trying too hard to mould the team around individuals rather than the other way round.

  • 209.
  • At 03:43 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • John Lewis wrote:

The decision to drop Harmison is a no-brainer - which probably explains why Vaughan managed to get this, at least, right. The decision to drop Hoggard, assuming he is fit - or geting there - and wants to play is a disgrace. Strauss has done nothing to earn his recall and since his knee injuries neither, either in terms of captaincy or batting, has Vaughan. Given his recent performances in both departments, the fact that Vaughan didn't drop himself can only be explained by one of two things; a complete lack of objectivety and/or moral fibre or perhaps being a selector as well as a player is a bit like The Weakest Link in that the rules do not allow you to vote yourself off. In which case, all together now - 'Vaughan, you are The Weakest Link, goodbye'.

  • 210.
  • At 03:51 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Joe Turner wrote:

The decision to drop Harmison was the right one but I feel that Hoggard has been very unfairly treated. He has been our most dependable bowler for the last five years and he didn't deserve to be dropped after one poor game when he clearly wasn't match ready. The main two problems during the first test were our overall negative approach and the last innings batting collapse, not Hoggard's temporary loss of form. The decision to drop Hoggard is even more mystifying when you consider who is going to replace him - Jimmy Anderson ! He has had chance after chance to prove himself at test match level and the simple truth is that he isn't good enough.

  • 211.
  • At 03:52 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • damian wrote:

100 posts all saying the same thing about hoggard and harmison. boring. do you not read before posting?

Bowling aside, our batsmen were rubbish, period. With the acception of Bell and possibly Collingwood, they're all looking completely out of their depth. Im yet to be convinced by Cook. Strauss and Vaughan are pathetic, and I wonder why Pieterson really turned down the chance to play in India? Was it really because he would look like a school boy in amongst world class players? I wish Pieterson would sort it out, he is a shadow of his former self right now, and such a joy to watch when in form.

England may get annoyingly lucky and fluke a win but they certainly wouldnt deserve it. In the current form we have no key wicket taker and no batsmen capable of taking on the NZ bolwers.

Credit to NZ for their grit, determination and attitude. England, learn from your current opponents!

  • 212.
  • At 03:55 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris wrote:

Goodness! To suggest dropping Hoggard is something permanent makes one boggle one's eyes! He wasn't given adequate preparation and on the back of one performance his England career could be over?

Amazing!

  • 213.
  • At 03:57 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Asela Podi wrote:

Anderson? Lacks the control and consistency required for Test cricket. Please with Broad's inclusion.

Hope the guys are mentally tougher this time.

  • 214.
  • At 04:10 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Flying Scotsman wrote:

Outrageous that Hoggard has been dropped! Even when he's batting you can see that he is doing his best, which should be enough within the current England team to guarantee selection... What will happen to Sidey when he has a poor test? Totally baffling decision, given that there seems to be no mention of injury.

  • 215.
  • At 04:12 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Round the Bend wrote:

Why is everyone saying that Vaughan has dropped H&H? Surely, post Scofield, this has been a collective decision from Moores, Vaughan and Whitaker (and possibly Miller)?

  • 216.
  • At 04:13 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Michael wrote:

bowlers: I think the right decisions were made. Harmison is too fragile mentally and too inaccurate.

Hoggard is not fit and is on a downward spiral anyway. I think it's right to look to the fututre.

Whether that future will include anderson is uncertain. It may well be that saj mahmood is a better bet. no disrespect to Otis Gibson but it would be nice if the ECB could hire a bowling coach with some serious international experience. Someone like Courtney Walsh

batsmen: strauss is in the last chance saloon.

I still don't believe that collingwood, admirable man though he is, is in the top 6 batsmen in the country

  • 217.
  • At 04:17 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Paul Nickson wrote:

As an Aussie living in the UK now for 5 years, and a massive Cricket fan I never cease to be amazed at the ineptitude of the people running the sport in this country.

Why would you replace an under-prepared bowler in Hoggard, with an equally under-prepared and unproven (in terms of consistent performance at the highest level) bowler in Anderson. At least Hoggard has a test match under his belt.

I like Broad, he's got the goods, pace, bounce, enthusiasm and talent with the bat and is a bold selection... but for some reason the authorities here seem not to be able to nurture such talent well.

Harmy has to go back, re-commit himself or retire from International cricket and England need to just be more positive with their batting, and it needs to start from Vaughan. Also I don't understand how Strauss could get back in the side, what has he done to re-earn his spot? Nothing! Yet they stick him back in at No. 4? Makes no sense. Pietersen is in a bit of a trough, and probably frustrated at the lack of support from the rest of the batting line-up, but he's class and will bounce back.

The batting is too sterile, there's no adventure, they need to shake off the shackles and go for it. It's amazing what attitude change will happen if one or two of them be really positive and get after the bowlers and get the scoreboard ticking over.

  • 218.
  • At 04:30 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • stev666 wrote:

Dropping Harmsion Is a decision that should have been taken a year or more ago, so Vaughan deserves no special Kudos for it.

And dropping Hoggard who has only had a couple of bad matches, and has easily been Englands most reliable bowler for a number of years now, is a very poor decision.

All in all Vaughan is reacting to public and media pressure, perhaps in a bid to cover up the fact that his ability as captain is far more notciabley on the wane. I have been a staunch supporter of his over the years but these recent decisions seem to be lacking any real good judgement. Unfortunately there desnt seem to be anyone to take his place at the moment. Collingwood as next England captain? no disrespect to him but we would be far better off with GOJO making a come back (god let that never happen).

And why is Strauss still there?, a man who shouldnt have been picked in the first place. A man who has not "rediscovered" his form, and who has been very poor for a long time now. Clearly he tried and succeeded in forcing his way back into the team, for no other reason than he was in NZ at the time anyway. It seemded to me to be a very calculated and selfish ploy by Strauss to get his place back, well now he has it, he had better do something with this opportunity, as I think people will be less forgiving towards him in the future.

  • 219.
  • At 04:34 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • William Beagrie wrote:

I agree with feeling that Hoggard should have been given another chance. For the life of me I cannot see what Anderson has that merits all these chances,he is no more than average county player, certainly no test player.As for the old excuse of having a young inexperienced side, well, Anderson has played in 20 tests is that not enough experience.The batting tactics in the first test were awful and designed to drive people away from the game, no wonder 20-20 is so popular.

  • 220.
  • At 04:35 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • tom neale wrote:

Hoggard should never have been dropped hes had one bad game. As for Vaughan he should drop himself hes been rubbish.

Problem is that by the time this is read tomorrow I can look pretty foolish but I can see the logic of dropping both although agree it's harsh on Hoggard.

I would say, however, that Anderson performs better when given the responsibility and a run rather than being in and out of the side. I have a hunch he will justify his selection.

AS for the batters again I wouls stick with them one more time. Only Strauss could really be replaced and deserves more than one game on his return.

Would whover in the England set-up that has told KP to curb his attacking instincts please resign and go away right now. He was a success playing his way not our way.

  • 222.
  • At 04:45 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Rhodes wrote:

It's a shame Tremlett is injured. He was very unlucky not to go on the last tour. A shake-up was needed and Hoggy has been unlucky. We need to do soemthing about the batting too. The Strauss recall appears to have been a mistake. Shah has been unlucky.

  • 223.
  • At 04:51 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Ray wrote:

Once again England blame the bowlers for defeat. If only Harmy and Hoggy had played bad last week England would have cruised to victory. Vaughan should have dropped the same percentage of batsman - Half! That is what I call shaking things up!

  • 224.
  • At 04:51 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • oufc wrote:

Harmison is finally OUT!!!!!!!!
bit rash to axe hoggy i think he bowled fine just had no luck. Sidey will become the next hoggard because of swing...not sure where we will get harmys pace from?

  • 225.
  • At 04:54 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • GH wrote:

James Anderson - player of the series against India last summer, dropped after one poor test match in Sri Lanka this winter.

Matthew Hoggard - best bowler against Sri Lanka, dropped after one poor test match in New Zealand. Recalled in his place? James Anderson.

Such knee-jerk reactions were commonplace in the dark years of the late 80's and early 90's, when we won nothing. The hallmark of the successful years under Duncan Fletcher was a stable side that changed little. Peter Moores seems to have little clue as to who is a test class player and who is not - he thought Bopara was in Sri Lanka, he thinks Hoggard isn't now (I'll give you a clue, Peter, you're amazingly WRONG on both counts).

Having said all that, the dropping of Harmison is more difficult to argue with - his action's not right, his body seems not to be right judging by his bowling speed, and his mind's elsewhere.

The other thought running through my head over recent months was this: How much influence did Duncan Fletcher have over Michael Vaughan's captaincy. In the Fletcher era, Vaughan was undoubtedly a superb leader, great communicator and strong decision maker; yet under Moores it seems so different. I thought his captaincy was poor in Sri Lanka, uninventive, reacting rather than pre-empting things, making the wrong decisions, and it's been similar here. Is Vaughan simply losing it or was it partly down to Fletcher's influence that Vaughan was so good back then?

  • 226.
  • At 05:04 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Iain Pickthall wrote:

Totally the wrong selection policy to drop Hoggard. I agree with Harmison, who made you want to hide behind the settee every time he ran in. Hoggard however should have been left in both as the good bowler he is one test match aside, and as a help to the yonger bowlers in the side. It is not just the captain who helps the bowlers out on the field, you need a mixture of youth and experience to get the best out of the whole team.
I do think that Vaughan is past his shelf life, and Moores really concerns me. I do not think he has what it takes to do that job as the most recent results have proved.

  • 227.
  • At 05:05 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Corin wrote:

Hoggy has always bent his back for England whilst Harmison has proved himself spineless for some time. Vaughn needs to look a bit closer to home when it comes to selection - is he scared to admit that he, as others, are out of touch with the bat? Centuries are now far too rare and the scoring rate abysmal. Perhaps there are too many injuries to some of our best players but surely with the amount of county cricketers available for selection we can do better than this bunch. I'd pay to play for England and I'm sure that there are many cricketers out there who would do the same.

  • 228.
  • At 05:24 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • K. Singh [London, UK] wrote:

Hoggard has been the work-horse for the England team since our awesome ashes victory. Whilst others (permanently) basked in the glory of the Ashes (Flintoff, Harmy, Strauss) Hoggard went about his business and remembered that cricket still had to be played. The players should have never received their OBE's and MBE's whilst still actively playing cricket - it was almost like a way of saying "well done, you reached the pinnacle of your career and you may as well now give up" - why could they not have received such honours till after their career? Also the whole contracts debacle is not something I agree with either. Players should be selected on form and form alone, a contract will all but ensure you a place in the squad irrespective of how your current form is. Sidebottom has been a revelation and he is similar to Hoggy in many respects - these two should definitely be playing together and Hoggy should be rightly peeved off because we forever hear about Harmisons lack of form, yet this is the first test match I can remember in a very long time where Hoggy has been below par and hey presto, he is dropped! Also heard the England lads do not rate Owais Shah highly enough, hence Strauss sudden comeback - that is appaling and tells me all I need to know about Moores ability as a coach and selector. Also why is there so much pressure on Monty when we have had to get used to the likes of Ashley Giles who hardly ever looked like he was going to get a wicket? Monty is a genuine wicket taking option and is relatively young in his international test cricket career, he will be a mainstay in our team if we do not knock,bruise and batter him in the media and press as is the way with all top English sportsmen and women.

  • 229.
  • At 05:24 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Simon Turner wrote:

I have always had worries about Harmison and his state of mind as a fast bowler when I first heard about his apology through the media to Ricky Ponting for bouncing him and hurting him in the first test of the Ashes 2005. Do you really think Brett Lee, Fred Trueman or Curtly Ambrose would have said the same sorts of things? The ability to strike fear in opposing batsmen is a great asset to the quicks, for a batsman, any sort of concern about your safety, where the next ball is going to land etc, even if it is just all in your mind, works in the bowler's favour. Does that menacing stare mean anything after whistling one one just past the batsman's grill when the day before you said you did not mean to hurt him? In my mind, as an opening batsman, I would view it as an accident, because he had no intention of doing that. His menacing glare would be greeted with a wry smile and a comment about him being too soft. The Aussies are the best in the world, one reason is because they do not give an inch of hope or belief back to the other side. England need to learn the killer instinct, including Steve Harmison. When the series is over, if need be, say your piece about not wanting to hurt anyone, not when there is 4 more tests to go........

  • 230.
  • At 05:28 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Daswer11 wrote:

"Ruthless Vaughan" should drop himself.

  • 231.
  • At 05:46 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Malcolm Hopwood wrote:

The dropping of Harmison is long overdue, the dropping of Hoggard is crazy. We are going back to the pre Duncan Fletcher days of a selection carousel with the bowlers. The right bowlers need to be identified and worked with and this will give them the confidence and test match nowse that is needed. Hoggard had and still has all the right qualities to play test cricket. His record on his last tour of New Zealand was very good. I'm sure he would of bounced back at Wellington with Broad and Sidebottom, but not sure what will happen now? Shame on you Michael Vaughan and time to go Mr Moores.

  • 232.
  • At 05:55 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • raman wrote:

Hogards exclusion is alittle surprising, but harmy had to go!! it is understandable he wants to spend more time with his family, but at the end of the day he is an international sportsman, and his attitude of isnot of one.
But the comments by MOORES and VAUGHAN of if we have wickets in hand we will have a dab at the total, indicates an overall lacking in confidence and innitiative in wanting to win this match!! If you aim for the sky, you might hit the ceiling, hence they drowned on that fateful last day. Batsmen surely are on borrowed time.

Harmison has deserved his fate but Hoggard was a surprise as he is grossly under rated by many. he'll be back. The quality of the pace bowling in reserve is an issue together with the batting fragility. A recall for Ramps and Caddick perhaps?!

  • 234.
  • At 06:10 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Thomas wrote:

I believe Harmison will be back terrifying international batsmen soon. I can't see Anderson hanging onto his place for very long. Harmison should play for Auckland in Anderson's place for the remainder of this tour. When the English season starts he should play for MCC against Sussex and then open the bowling for Durham for the rest of the season. He should bowl himself into the test team for the winter tours rather than get in through his previous record (although it seems everyone is forgetting that he is England's 10th highest test wicket taker ever). As for Hoggard, i bet he'll play in the 3rd test.

  • 235.
  • At 06:10 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

Harmison definitely had to go as Vaughan showed no confidence in him only giving him 4 overs in the second innings. Quite suprising that Hoggard was dropped especially in favour of Anderson, who seriously underperformed in the ODIs and didn't do very well for Auckland. I would've thought Tremlett would have been a better option for pace, or Swann for the extra spinner.

I'm also not convinced about the call for axing Strauss. He didn't do any worse than any of the other batsmen, and it is unlikely that Shah would've done any better.

Hopefully we'll see an England side actually wanting a win tonight!

  • 236.
  • At 06:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

Harmison was the right decision but Hoggard should get another chance. Vaughan and Collingwood should go too, we need Freddie (if fit) and Prior back. Also give Luke Wright a chance as the all rounder if Freddie cant make it.

  • 237.
  • At 06:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Kent wrote:

It is very easy for people to judge things based on what they see in the matches (we rather enjoy to do so); but that is only a part of the picture that the whole team sees.
Hoggy is someone we all love, but we have no idea how he has been performing in practice and how he is generally feeling about his game.
I suspect that the decision to drop him is not based purely on the last game results, but more on how he is generally. Quite simply, no one would make the decision to drop such a great performer based on 1 game otherwise.
This is going to be an interesting Summer for the national team, MV had better start showing value for money soon...

  • 238.
  • At 06:11 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Dave Booth wrote:

I just thought that it was worth mentioning that if England was the best prepared team what happened to the laundry , as a number of players (Harmison and Panasar) went onto the field on some days with stained trousers from the previous days play.
I was always told to look good and you can play good.Do they only have one pair of pants each?

  • 239.
  • At 06:36 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Matt wrote:

I'm glad Harmison has been dropped because he simply hasn't been performing and he has been given enough chances. Sad on a personal note though because he has clearly lost his confidence. I just hope he can again become the bowler he was a few years back.

Hoggard was a harsh one. Ok he didn't bowl well in the first test but has been a consistent performer for England when fit and I just can't see his replacement Anderson doing any better.

  • 240.
  • At 07:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • RG wrote:

"Moores has been compared in some quarters to England's hapless former football coach Steve McClaren."

He has proved it. How can you make bowlers scapegoat, when batsmen were the culprits.

  • 241.
  • At 07:28 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • kash79 wrote:

I finally agree with Aggers.

Harmison played one test too many in this series.

It's time for Harmy to spend the next four years or so bowling at a decent pace for his county- thank you very much.

Hoggy deserves a swipe as well.

It's a reminder that 2005 Ashes is ancient history.

A captain, perhaps, cannot axe himself and it doesn't make sense to axe a guy on a test recall. Otherwise, Shelf dates for Vaughan and Strauss have expired as well.

It's a positive half measure.

Time to develop a team with achievements not in the past but in the future. Bring some new fresh 25 year old batsmen into the ring as well.

Question:

Do England have any young and promising batsmen to bring in? It doesn't make sense to usue 30 year olds who had a chance before.

Any young and fresh talent available in England?

  • 242.
  • At 08:06 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

Aggers,

As much as I have supported and enjoyed watching England, the team is on the slide and has been for some time. Dropping Hoggy was unexpected and it now leaves a very inexperienced bowling attack behind. In more bowler friendly conditions I am sure Hoggy will find his way back into the team....


It just leaves one question then - when is Vaughan going to call time on his own career - or will someone else do it for him?

If and when Flintoff returns, and I very much hope he does, one of the batsmen will need to stand aside... Michael Vaughan "that could be you..."

  • 243.
  • At 08:18 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Chris Stewart wrote:

Gutted!

That's how Sidebottom must feel when an underperforming novice like Anderson gets picked. His record is bad at ALL levels of the game

Hoggard must be injured. Badly injured for that matter.

Harris for Harmison. Save making a new shirt

Hoggard cost 4.7 runs per over in the first innings in Hamilton but only 2.4 runs per over in the second innings. This was a dramatic improvement, and makes me doubt the wisdom of dropping him. It looks like he arrive a little rusty but was beginning to get himself together.

  • 245.
  • At 08:32 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • j. cuthbert wrote:

This may not be the best place to say this but I'd like to defend Andrew Strauss a little. The rot started setting in with Strauss when he was relieved of the captaincy of England.
Captaincy seemed to have concentrated his mind admirably and he was leading from the front. What happened next was disgracful. The reasons for Strauss losing the captaincy (we all have our theories) were never explained satisfactorily but seemed to be based on the theory of keeping another player happy rather than for the good of the team.

For that reason alone I was glad to see the back of Fletcher and I hope that this latest decision signals an end to the system that rates keeping senior, influential players happy at the expense of lesser players and the team itself.
Lastly, if Vaughan fails, bring Strauss back as captain (unless it has already been promised to someone else of course).
That is my rant finished so good luck to the 11 at Wellington.

  • 246.
  • At 08:53 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Steve wrote:

Michael Vaughan 'senses' that something needed to change. Is that like standing on the train tracks hearing a steam train bearing down? What amazing acuity. And why the extreme reluctance to change and experiment any way -- it isn't life and death, it's cricket for goodness sake.

  • 247.
  • At 09:08 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Graham wrote:

Incredible to see the amount of hand-wringing brought about by the loss of a test against NZ. What's it going to be like in a week's time when it's 2-0 to the kiwis? The England team's problem (and one shared by all their fans) is that they can't credit that they were beaten by a better team. Once they learn to show some respect for their opponents they might get into the right frame of mind to compete.

  • 248.
  • At 09:10 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Andy wrote:

It is a disgrace that Matthew Hoggard has been dropped, he has been a stalwart of the bowling attack for years. Its just another example of the current Team managements knee jerk reactions to a crisis. And I think that they contributed to Hoggy being under prepared for the first test, because of the lack of practice matches!
I do agree about dropping Harmison, he has always been overated, and he certainly has not shown much desire to be a test player for a while now.

  • 249.
  • At 09:14 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Greg Marah wrote:

The worst decision evr meade is dropping Hoggard. Englands best bowler by far over the last few years and a bowler always willing to run in and plays with his heart. Harmison can go, he is wrthless and there are better bowlers out there.

Hoggy will come fighting back but if England yet again lose Maybe its time for Vaughan to go.

  • 250.
  • At 09:14 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Colin wrote:

Everyone is aware that the team looked flat in the first Test, and people have said that there wasn't any team spirit there. This to me is down to the split captaincy - the team is divided (maybe not consciously) between two captains now, they get used to a structure and then suddenly it changes. To think a team can suddenly switch captains and have the same 'air' about them is ludicrous. Are the ECB/Moores/Vaughan et al honestly expecting the players to say "we will bounce back from these ODI's when we get our new/old captain back for the Test series"!!!

To me it was no coincidence that Hoggard and Harmison were dropped - they are the only 'Test only' players. Dropping Harmison is just pure common sense whereas dropping Hoggard smacks of trying to use the same personnel for both forms of the game. That way - the real issue of the captaincy isn't going to be raised.

I can honestly see this spiraling downwards - each captain inherits bad morale from another form of the game and it's hard to blame either. Vaughan is the best Test captain we have but... players can play only in one form of the game but the captain is different. You can change your troop body a bit, bringing in specialist units depending on the battle you face - but you don't change your commander!

To me Vaughan was a fool to retire from ODI's - he should have shifted himself down the order to 6 or 7 and played as a finisher like Hussey. It would have been worth the risk for the stability. There is a reason no other country has split captaincy - the best teams would not even dream of it. The only solution now is to do what New Zealand did with Vettori (I know there was politics involved, there always is) and elevate Collingwood to Test captaincy. That does not mean I would have said he was the best man for the job a few months ago, but it's the pragmatic choice.

  • 251.
  • At 09:17 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Tom Collinson wrote:

Andy I really don't think Freddy will be taking the place of Vaughan, in fact I'd bet my house on it.

Not only that but even before the big time out Flintoff had no form with the bat, when he's able to pound in and bowl it's a start but he won't be a main player with the bat for a while longer.

  • 252.
  • At 09:30 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • vikrant wrote:

I think dropping Hoggard is a bit harsh move,,,,

A few days back I was reading an article where it was written (about Hoggard) "he kept firing in delivery after delivery on dead pitches when his more illustrious partner(s) had backed out due to injury..." {can't recall the exact phrase..}

Hoggard's commitment to English cricket seems second to none..


I would call Harmison a hype.. probably we may never see him again..

But I would love to see Hoggard back in action for the English test team...

  • 253.
  • At 09:35 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

To j. cuthbert (comment no. 245).
Spot on with Strauss. I never understood why he was sidelined as a captain when his record was a lot better than Flintoff's ever would be. That decision didn't do well for either player, and consequently, the England team as a whole.

The batmen where poor as a whole but Pieterson did say that he batted how the skipper wanted him to. And that was not playing to win. Maybe a shake up with players that want to do their all to win (like most other teams, notably the Aussies) would be better..

  • 254.
  • At 10:38 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Jonathan Crossley wrote:

I can't believe the rubbish being spouted by most people on this thread. How many more times have I got to read references to Hoggard having one bad game? The people who believe that must have very short memories. He was superb in the first Test in Sri Lanka but missed the second Test through injury and hasn't been the same since. He did nothing in the last Test in Sri Lanka so actually that's two bad games.

The fact is both Hoggard and Harmison were dreadful in the first Test and were largely responsible for England losing. No team can expect to win a Test match if they go in with four bowlers and two of them underperform. That's what happened in the first Test but most so called England fans in their ignorance have decided to blame Harmison and the batsmen. It seems Hoggard can bowl as badly as he likes and escape criticism. It would have been wrong to drop Harmison and not Hoggard. I'm not convinced about Anderson or Broad but this is a three Test series. It would have been too big a risk to retain Hoggard and Harmison after their dreadful first Test performances. It's important to remember they really were dreadful. They weren't just average. They were woefully out of form. If this had been a five Test series I think they would have been retained because of their experience but as this is a three Test series the decision to drop them isn't just a brave one but it's also the right one. I do, however, remain confident that Hoggard especially will be back. He's too good not to come back. Sadly I suspect Harmison might have played his last Test. He has the ability but I'm not sure that he has the will.

I have a theory as to why Hoggard and Harmison bowled so badly in the first Test. There's no doubt in my mind it was because they were underprepared. The bowlers playing in the second Test have all been playing recently. Sidebottom, Anderson and Broad were in the ODI squad and Panesar was with the Lions. On future overseas tours England must have either two four day practice matches or three three day practice matches at the start of the tour. If the host country isn't prepared to allow that then the England players ( especially the bowlers ) who don't play ODIs should get match practice with the Lions. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but I believe if Hoggard and Harmison had been playing for the Lions in India recently they would have been ready for the first Test.

  • 255.
  • At 11:52 PM on 12 Mar 2008,
  • Trev Sutton wrote:

Hoggard is a great bowler, especially when the ball is swinging. He should not be written off by any means. You would think England would be working on his match fitness with the aim of bringing him back in the near future, but you never know what stupid things the England management will do next...

  • 256.
  • At 01:18 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • James Taylor wrote:

A brave and uncharacteristic decision to drop Hoggard and Harmison, shame they didn't go the whole mile and replace Strauss with Shah.

It's about time we showed some bottle, no-ones place should be guaranteed - there has been times in the past when it's seemed like a big mates' club rather than a select Xl(also true of the English football team).

Any professional worth his salt will take being dropped (which is an intrinsic part of team sport, not a personal slur) as an oppertunity to reassess and regroup, and should build character and resolve.

The second part of the equation is having hungry, talented men waiting in the wings for a sniff, I hope Broad and Anderson shine and make themselves thoroughly difficult to drop. Strauss is on a second or third chance and looks worse than when he was originally dropped, what a waste, ship him out and get Shah in, it's the least he deserves.

I realise it sounds slightly harsh, but it's a game and should be treated as such, peoples livelehoods aren't at risk, as they would be in other walks of life.

  • 257.
  • At 07:30 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Fazil wrote:

As far as i m concerned its a brave move by Vaughan...Hoggard and Harmison are certainly not the toughest bowlers 2 stand up at the international arena and these 2 have been the spearheads for England...so if these guys arent able to do wellll its better they get a break nd reinvent themselves..

  • 258.
  • At 08:33 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Derek Cannon wrote:

To leave out Harmison was understandable and well nigh inevitable. To leave out Hoggard, however, was rank folly. In recent years he has been a model of commitment and consistency and would have been invaluable alongside Broad. Was he in some obscure way responsible for England's abject batting in the first test? It is clearly felt that the upper order was blameless, so dropping the night watchman was the apparent solution from a selection cabal of batsmen. Whatever now happens in the current match, this decision remains inexcusable.

  • 259.
  • At 09:48 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • critic2 wrote:

Entirely agree that Harmison should be dropped - his performances over the last 2-3 years have been few and far between. There has been no evidence to suggest that he can get back to his best so we must now look forwards.

I think the Hoggard situation is different and whilst he might not be suited to certain surfaces I still believe that in Englad he is our most dangerous and consistent bowler by far. People shouldn't get obsessed with pace, lets face it during Glen McGrath's last 5 years in test cricket he barely got it over 80 mph.
I agree with other comments that we seem reluctant to drop batters. The odd 40 odd is not sufficient to be in a top 6 of a country aspiring to get to the top. Strauss looks a pale shadow of what he was and the clock must be ticking for Vaughan and even Collingwood. I believe we should stick with Pieterson, Cook and Bell on the basis of their age, but only if they perform at the level required. I also believe that we should introduce Ramprakash - you just cannot ignore the volume of runs he is scoring and we do need to get back to winning don't we ?

Finally as I have said before, I believe our players are molly coddled and that is one reason why they lack the mental toughness of say the Aussies.

So, for Peter Moores, I'm afraid your honeymoon period is over, and first views are far from positive from my perspective.

  • 260.
  • At 11:00 AM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Ajit wrote:

Broadly agree with Vaughan as I understand the need to drop Harmison. Not too sure about Hoggard - but I do think James Anderson should be in the team.

Also that essentially the English batting side is a good one - Cook, Vaughan, Strauss, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood - on paper one of the better lineups in the world. However that paper hasn't really held up as often as England would have liked.

Vaughan should persist with his batting side and hope they come good sooner than later.

  • 261.
  • At 12:41 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Pritthijit Datta wrote:

The England cricket team is simply suffering from a bad patch. The decision about axing Harmison and Hoggard may be harsh, bearing in mind they are serious campaigners in the England squad. Cricket has become increasingly obsessed with youth playing an intergral role in the scene
Questions need to be raised about whether this policy will suceed. For England, experimenting may backfire and taking young players to carry the burden is a huge responsibility. Their has to be a fine balance between youth and experience.

  • 262.
  • At 03:08 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Azster wrote:

Well i am not happy with how we are playing. we need to get our heads on and get partnerships working. really grind every run out them.
As for the bowling Harmison needs time to re- asses what he really wants to do in international cricket as much as i admire the bloke, but i don't agree with dropping hoggard he has been the backbone to England's bowling for the past 4 years.
much love the azster

  • 263.
  • At 03:10 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Azster wrote:

Well i am not happy with how we are playing. we need to get our heads on and get partnerships working. really grind every run out them.
As for the bowling Harmison needs time to re- asses what he really wants to do in international cricket as much as i admire the bloke, but i don't agree with dropping hoggard he has been the backbone to England's bowling for the past 4 years.
much love the azster

  • 264.
  • At 03:17 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • David Bacon wrote:

How about womebody getting ruthless with Vaughan?

  • 265.
  • At 05:01 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • hoggard wrote:

hoggard should not have been dropped. get him back

  • 266.
  • At 06:41 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Neera wrote:

I think it is time to axe vaughan also. He is not consistent. I was bit surprised to see there is no calls against him. His captaincy is too defencive as well as his batting. I think it is time england gets some youngsters in to the team and try something new. It is a same for a country who is famous for county cricket saying that they dont have enough players. axe vaughan, give captaincy to kevin or paul. Bring some new faces in to scene.

  • 267.
  • At 10:38 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Sanjay wrote:

Dropping Hoggard is so harsh it's untrue- where's the logic? The stats don't lie- he's Mr reliable as far as the bowling is concerned and there's got to be more factors involed in Hoggards ommission than meets the eye. Dropping Harmison on the otherhand was well overdue.

  • 268.
  • At 11:08 PM on 13 Mar 2008,
  • Daniel Williams wrote:

Schofield report - what a complete waste of time and money!
It's influence on the English game post our last Ashes debacle has been non existent. Our preparation is still rubbish. Whats changed?

Peter Moores? Nuff said!

  • 269.
  • At 06:20 AM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • John wrote:

The Australian partisans need to take a step back and assess what advice they are giving before they dish it out.

Harmison was asking for it, Hoggard has been mediocre. Vaughan should go too, and I don't ever want to hear the words "Andrew Flintoff" again. They should go far, far away. Get rid of those four, and the future can truly begin.

Flintoff, not over the hill? I rubbish that idea with great prejudice.

  • 270.
  • At 11:42 AM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • Robert Matthews wrote:

I think Vaughan have done the right thing in dropping hoggard and harmison, anderson have come in and taken 5 wickets and broad have backed up sidebottom and anderson. If you are going to drop a batsman whos going to come whos better than any bats in our top 5, i also think england lack confidence without flintoff. come on fred get fit

  • 271.
  • At 12:38 PM on 14 Mar 2008,
  • Hogwash wrote:

it's time Vaughan dropped himself and that South African import Pieterson, neither have done much in the last two years. vaughan is pathetic, full of rubbish excuses, and Pieterson is just a show off.

  • 272.
  • At 12:35 AM on 15 Mar 2008,
  • steve usa wrote:

Vaughan was ruthless dropping Harmison and Hoggard for sure, Harmison especially needs a kick up the backside, however will Vaughan be as ruthless when it comes to dropping himself when he looks at his own poor and indifferent performances.

  • 273.
  • At 01:35 PM on 15 Mar 2008,
  • Ben wrote:

It's very unfair to drop hoggard, he has been englands leading bowler for a number of years now. He has one bad game and he's out. If players were dropped after one bad game all the time there would be no chance for anyone. Doe anyone know if hoggard and harmison have come back to england or if they are still in new zealand?

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