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England recall bowler Harmison to squad

  • Story Highlights
  • England recall Steve Harmison to squad for third Test against South Africa
  • The 29-year-old Durham pace bowler has not played for England since March
  • Paul Collingwood also back but Darren Pattinson and Chris Tremlett dropped
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(CNN) -- England have recalled Durham fast bowler Steve Harmison to their 13-man squad for the third Test match against South Africa at Edgbaston next week.

Harmison has been recalled to the England Test squad for the first time since March.

Harmison has not played a Test since facing New Zealand in March, but has been introduced in a bid to offer extra pace to an attack which has toiled its way to just 13 wickets in the last 344.3 overs bowled in the series.

The 29-year-old is the leading wicket-taker in Division One of the English County Championship with 41 wickets in nine first-class games at an average of 22.8, with a best of 6-122 this season

"Steve Harmison has been bowling well for Durham this season and his inclusion in the Test squad gives us another option in terms of our bowling attack for the Edgbaston Test," said England national selector Geoff Miller.

Harmison's Durham team-mate Paul Collingwood and fit-again Nottinghamshire paceman Ryan Sidebottom are also recalled as selectors have taken decisive action in the aftermath of the 10-wicket second Test defeat at Headingley -- a result that leaves South Africa one-up with two Tests remaining.

Australian-born paceman Darren Pattinson, whose surprise late call-up and subsequent inclusion for the second Test caused so much controversy, and Chris Tremlett have both been left out altogether.

Pattinson received a shock international debut after just 11 first-class appearances, with the more experienced Harmison, Tremlett, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones all overlooked.

However, the Nottinghamshire bowler made an uninspired debut in England's heavy defeat and he now returns to his county.

Reigning England player of the year Sidebottom, whose back injury triggered the late call-ups last week, is expected to be fit for the Birmingham encounter.

"Ryan has been progressing well with his back injury over the past week and we're confident he'll be fit for selection but obviously he'll be monitored closely in the lead up to next Wednesday," added Miller.

Collingwood, whose run of 33 consecutive England appearances was severed at Headingley, could also return to the starting side.

"Paul Collingwood was unlucky to miss out on a place in the team for the second Test match but this decision was based on a number of factors," said Miller. "He has shown what a true professional he is by returning to Durham over the past week and playing well for his county."

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