Seamers have role to play - Harmison

PA Sport
Steve Harmison says the seamers' ability to bowl reverse swing will help England's cause
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Steve Harmison says the seamers' ability to bowl reverse swing will help England's cause

Former England paceman Steve Harmison expects Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar to take most of the wickets on the tour of India this winter but is backing the seamers to play an important role.

Alastair Cook begins his tenure as full time Test captain on Thursday in Ahmedabad in the first of four matches as England seek their first series victory on Indian soil since 1985, and Harmison told Sky Sports News: "It's very difficult. I'm sure England are banking on Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar doing the bulk of the wicket-taking.

"They (seamers) all bowl well with the reverse-swinging ball and I think that's going to be the key for England whether it's (Steven) Finn, (Tim) Bresnan, (James) Anderson, (Stuart) Broad and (Graham) Onions. They all need to bowl well with the reverse-swinging ball but I imagine the spinners are the ones that take the bulk of the wickets."

He added: "If you want to be the best bowler that you can possibly be you've got to go out and perform in these countries."

Harmison believes the key to their chances of success will be stopping India's free-scoring top-order batsmen.

"I'm sure they'll have a gameplan to stop boundaries and cut off the big shots that the Indians do like to play and build pressure that way," said the 34-year-old.

"England's gameplan first and foremost will be to stop them from scoring.

"When England won 4-0 in England when they bombarded the Indians with short balls, they probably won't be able to do that again as the ball doesn't tend to bounce above shin height.

"It will be tough but I'm sure they'll do a good job."

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