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November 13, 2007
Steve Harmison looks set to be included in England's Test squad for the series against Sri Lanka next month, after receiving the backing of the team coach, Peter Moores.
Harmison, who underwent a hernia operation in July, is currently playing for the Highveld Lions in South Africa in a bid to recapture his form ahead of the three Tests in Kandy, Colombo and Galle.
Though he returned an impressive nine-wicket haul against the Cape Cobras last week, Harmison confessed to a touch of rustiness after sending down a familiar spate of wides and no-balls. There had been some speculation in the British media that he would remain on the sidelines, but Moores - speaking to BBC radio - quashed that notion.
"I've spoken to Steve this morning, and we hope he will be joining us for a good tour," Moores told Radio 5 Live. "I don't think it is a make-or-break tour at all. He has a lot of cricket left in him."
Earlier in the week, Moores explained the reasons for Harmison's two-match spell with Highveld Lions. "He's in South Africa to prove three things. Physically, can his body take bowling in competitive cricket? Secondly can he get that bowling fitness he needs and, finally, can he be in the form he'll need to be in Sri Lanka?
"He had a tough last season," said Moores. "He struggled for form early on, then started to find some form, then got injured and missed the rest of the season, which was obviously disappointing for him.
"This is the reason why he is in South Africa now - he hasn't bowled competitively for quite a long time. Sri Lanka will be a tough, short tour, we need everybody to be ready to go at the start of that trip."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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