Harmison insists on Tremlett ahead of Finn

England

Former fast bowler Steve Harmison has implored England to select the tall Chris Tremlett ahead of fellow right-armers Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin for the first Ashes Test.

Former fast bowler Steve Harmison has implored England to select the tall Chris Tremlett ahead of fellow right-armers Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin for the first Ashes Test.

Tremlett was rested for the recent tour fixture against the Cricket Australia Invitational XI, while Rankin impressed in the second innings and Finn took eight overall. Bowling coach David Saker, however, has suggested Tremlett will be named in the Test XI.

"I think Chris Tremlett is probably just a safer option than Steven Finn for the first Test, not going for many runs and picking up the odd wicket," Harmison told <i>Sky Sports News</i>.

"I think that might just give him the nod. They've got four bowlers and if somebody's going at four and a half, five an over, it becomes very difficult to bowl that bowler.

"That puts a lot of pressure on Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and especially Graeme Swann. Australia will probably look to target Swann so you probably need your fourth bowler to be a banker. It could be on a gut feeling.

"Alastair Cook and Andy Flower might just give them right up until Monday after nets and think 'this is the one that's bowling the best, we're going to go with him'. I think all three of them bring the same thing to party, they're relatively the same pace and all bounce the ball.

"Tremlett gives them a little bit more control than Finn and I think there are still questions on Boyd's durability – can he get through a full five days and then come back and do it again?"

Wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior, meanwhile, is set to be named in the team. Prior was in doubt after injuring a calf muscle, but has recovered sufficiently.

The series opener will get underway in the Queensland capital on Thursday. Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will host fixtures two, three, four and five respectively.

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