Harmison declares himself fit

So he’s fit, as much as a cortisone injection can mask the pain, but is Steve Harmison angry enough?

“I will bowl through the pain barrier to help retain the Ashes,” Harmison wrote in his column in The Mail on Sunday. “I won’t do anything foolish, because this first Test is just too huge. But, as long as the medical people say my condition won’t get worse by playing, I’ll take any painkiller they want me to, and I’ll get myself on the field.

“Once I’m out there, I’ll bowl as much as they want me to, for as long as they want me to. I’m desperate to play in this match and in the whole series. The way I’m feeling now it will take a hell of a lot to stop me.”

Fighting talk, then. Worryingly for someone who is about to embark on his 46th Test, concerns about his commitment remain. An angry, menacing Harmy is what England needs for the first Test – much as he provided in the first Test at Lord’s last year, albeit a match England lost.

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