Steve Harmison has indicated now could be the time for him to retire from Test cricket, but England’s selectors may think otherwise.
The Durham paceman found himself back in the international fray this month, featuring in the final two Ashes Tests at the Oval and Headingley, but questions have been raised as to his future at the top level.
Harmison, who was the world’s number one bowler back in 2004, took 2-98 at Leeds and 3-69 in the final Test success, showing in patches what he can still do with the ball when fully fit.
Many pundits though believe the 30-year-old has come to end of the road in Test cricket and speculation is mounting that he will follow his good friend Andrew Flintoff by announcing his retirement from the five-day game.
Speaking a couple of days after the Oval victory, Harmison said: “Anybody who plays for their country never wants to give it up, but there is going to come a time when you have to say ‘well it’s time for me to move aside because there are other people who can do as good a job – if not a better job – as me’.”
But the pace bowler has said he would be willing to tour South Africa this winter if asked by Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower, and there appears to be every chance that could happen.
Mixed performances from the bowlers during the Ashes will leave the selectors facing some tough decisions, with England now setting their sights on the top spot in the rankings.
With Stuart Broad cementing his role and with Flintoff’s retirement, three more seamers spots look to be up for grabs.
James Anderson didn’t live up to expectations against the Aussies and his temperament continues to be questioned, while Graham Onions showed his county form but only in spells.
Two players on the fringes and pushing for recalls are Tim Bresnan and Ryan Sidebottom but beyond that, there are not too many players staking a claim to face the Proteas.