Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bowling Trio Hope to Get a Head Start; Players Face Wait as Durham Delay Naming Team to Face Tykes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bowling Trio Hope to Get a Head Start; Players Face Wait as Durham Delay Naming Team to Face Tykes

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Edwards

DURHAM will only select their team to face Yorkshire after a thorough inspection of the Headingley pitch this morning as Scott Borthwick, Ben Harmison and Chris Rushworth compete for a Championship call-up.

Borthwick is perhaps the favourite to win the battle to replace the injured Mitch Claydon following his excellent performance against the MCC in Abu Dhabi at the start of the month.

The leg-spinner has been a little unfortunate to miss out in Durham's opening two Championship games of the season, although skipper Will Smith has assured him the omission is purely down to conditions not talent.

With April traditionally offering a seamer-friendly start to the domestic season, both Rushworth - who is hoping to make his Championship debut - and Harmison have also been included in a 13-man squad as Durham continue to cover for the loss of their two star bowlers Stephen Harmison and Graham Onions.

Smith said: "It will all depend on the condition of the wicket.

"We will only make a decision on who comes into the side when we have had a good look at the wicket.

"It is a tough call because we have a lot of quality back-up and they are desperate to play.

"Normally at this time of the year, the wickets are seamer-friendly, but the pitches at the Riverside have been pretty flat because we have had a dry April.

"If that is the case at Headingley, Scotty comes into it.

"If the conditions are right we will not be afraid to play him.

"He did well against the MCC, but he understands the situation and has knuckled down to it in the second team.

"He will come more and more into things as the season goes on and he does not attach too much importance to what happened in Abu Dhabi.

"He knows he has to work on his game and improve on things, which is what he is doing."

Although few sides in the country would be able to cope with the loss of two bowlers of Harmison and Onions' calibre, Durham boast remarkable strength in reserve. …

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