England v West Indies, 4th Test, Chester-le-Street June 11, 2007

Hoggard returns for fourth Test

Cricinfo staff



Matthew Hoggard: back in the fold © Getty Images
Matthew Hoggard is expected to return to England's attack for the fourth Test against West Indies which gets underway at Durham on Friday. Hoggard, who sustained a groin injury midway through the first Test at Lord's last month, had been forced to sit out of the last two games at Headingley and Old Trafford, but has steadily worked his way back up to full fitness. He has been included in a 12-man squad for Chester-le-Street, taking the place of Durham's Liam Plunkett.

"Matthew has been bowling pain-free for the last few days and he will play for Yorkshire against Northamptonshire in the Friends Provident Trophy on Wednesday," said England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney. "The next step for him then will be to bowl in the nets at Chester-le-Street on Thursday and show that he is available for selection.

"If he is fully fit, he will replace Liam Plunkett in our starting line-up for the next Test match," said Graveney. "James Anderson will be our standby seam bowler and he will also play for his county, Lancashire in their Friends Provident Trophy match against Nottinghamshire on Wednesday."

Although England have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Wisden Trophy, Hoggard's steadying influence has been sorely missed all series. The Nottinghamshire seamer, Ryan Sidebottom, has impressed on his return to the side, taking eight wickets at Headingley in his first Test match for six years, but the Durham pairing of Plunkett and Steve Harmison have been largely off-colour.

Harmison, however, belatedly found some of his best form at Old Trafford, taking four for 95 in the second innings and six wickets in the match, including two in four balls to usher West Indies ever closer to defeat on the final morning. He is set to lead England's attack on his home ground on Friday.

England 1 Andrew Strauss, 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Michael Vaughan (capt), 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Paul Collingwood, 6 Ian Bell, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Steve Harmison, 9 Ryan Sidebottom, 10 Matthew Hoggard, 11 Monty Panesar.

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