England v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Trent Bridge May 29, 2006

England squad unchanged for third Test

Cricinfo staff



Steve Harmison: not yet ready for a Test return © Getty Images
England have stuck with the same 12-man squad for the final Test against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge, resisting the temptation to recall Steve Harmison despite his promising form for Durham.

Harmison came through his second Championship match during the week, against Sussex at Chester-le-Street, taking 4 for 43. However, with Durham collapsing to defeat inside two days he wasn't given the chance for another extended bowl to confirm his readiness for a Test.

But David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, said Harmison would train with the squad at Trent Bridge. "Harmison is making good progress, but he is not yet fully match fit and we have decided not to risk him at this stage. He will, however, join up with the squad at Nottingham later this week and be re-assessed by our medical staff."

The selection means that Liam Plunkett and Sajid Mahmood are set for another head-to-head battle, although Plunkett has moved significantly ahead in the race after his match figures of 6 for 60 at Edgbaston. He now needs to show some of his batting potential at No.8 as England won't want to experience collapses on the scale of their 5 for 5, during the second day in Birmingham, on a regular basis.

"We were pleased with the team's performance at Edgbaston," added Graveney. "Kevin Pietersen played a magnificent, match-winning innings and there were also excellent performances at key stages of the game from a number of our younger players."

Jon Lewis is again the twelfth name in the squad but will be unlikely to displace Monty Panesar in the final XI.

Squad Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff (capt), Geraint Jones (wk), Liam Plunkett, Matthew Hoggard, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar, Jon Lewis

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