Why Harmison But Not Hoggard?

Mike WhiteContributor IMarch 19, 2009

Steve Harmison and Matthew Hoggard were both dropped against New Zealand in March 2008 after they took just one wicket each and England lost the first test by 189.

The only difference is, Harmison was called back to the team for the final test against South Africa in August 2008

The question is; why did they choose Harmison ahead of Hoggard, when neither were showing great form for their counties?

Hoggard is the better bowler of the two, he is more consistent and has a better range of deliveries, while Harmison is faster.

Hoggard has played 67 games, taking 248 wickets at an average of 30, and Harmison has played 61 games and taken 221 wickets at an average of 31.

Hoggard is a better bowler, with the stats to prove it, so why has Harmison got the nod?

Is it because Harmison is two years younger than Hoggard? I don't see how this makes any difference when you look at the quality of the bowlers.

Leading up to Harmison's recall, in the three prior games Hoggard took five wickets in a match, then six wickets, then one—reasonable stats. Meanwhile, Harmison got four, then three, then two, so Hoggard was taking more wickets at the time.

Luckily, Harmison has now been dropped along with Ryan Sidebottom, and Amjad Khan has blown his chance, so is this a chance for Matthew Hoggard?

Let's hope so.