Search

Middlesex backing young seamers to step up after Harris loan

08:55 24 July 2014

James Harris in action for Middlesex Panthers against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

James Harris in action for Middlesex Panthers against Essex Eagles. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Middlesex have faith that their young pace bowlers will provide adequate back-up for the 50-over tournament after allowing James Harris to rejoin Glamorgan on loan.

Harris, whose first-team opportunities have been limited this summer, is back at the Welsh county until mid-August and will miss the bulk of the Panthers’ Royal London Cup group fixtures.

That leaves Middlesex relying on the likes of Tom Helm, Harry Podmore and Gurjit Sandhu as cover in case of an injury to any of their first-choice seam trio, Tim Murtagh, Toby Roland-Jones and Steven Finn.

However, bowling coach Richard Johnson says the club are confident in the ability of their youngsters – all of whom have already featured for the senior side this season.

Twenty-year-old Helm spent a loan spell with Glamorgan earlier in the campaign and also played in Middlesex’s County Championship match at Yorkshire this week.

Podmore, also 20, has caught the eye during a number of NatWest T20 Blast appearances, while 22-year-old left-armer Sandhu has featured in the competition this season too.

“They’ve all got stacks of potential, they’re all challenging and we now feel we have three young fast bowlers who, when they’re called upon, won’t let us down,” said Johnson.

“In Helmy’s own words, he didn’t bowl as well as he could have done at Glamorgan – but from talking to them, it’s clear they were very happy with him and would have him back if he were available again.

“He’s gained a lot from the experience – he’s come back more confident that he can perform at first-team level, while equally he knows there’s more left in the tank.

“I think Helmy was a bit ahead of the other two in terms of strength and conditioning. Harry needed a good winter in the gym, as did Gurjit, so they’d be strong enough to cope with first-team cricket.

“We think Harry’s progression, in particular, has been very good this summer – you can see now he’s a lot more powerful and he’s starting to get to a stage where he can bowl fast.

“These young guys are performing very well in the second team and we rate them highly. But it still won’t be easy for them to break into the side – in August we have six 50-over games and no Championship cricket.”

Middlesex have stressed that the decision to loan Harris – who attracted interest from several counties before he moved to Lord’s at the end of the 2012 campaign – is no reflection on his performances or prospects at the club.

In fact, the former England Lions bowler has arguably been restricted by a relatively kind fixture schedule that has enabled Middlesex to keep the same seam attack for most of their four-day fixtures.

“It’s been a strange season, in a way,” Johnson added. “Normally we’ve looked to rotate throughout the season so everyone will generally get a decent number of games under his belt.

“But our three main pace bowlers have performed well all season, and that and the way the fixtures have worked out means we haven’t had to rotate them in Championship cricket.

“So we’ve been struggling to find James some cricket and he needs more than the odd T20 and second XI game.

“We have a good relationship with Glamorgan and this was the perfect opportunity for him to get some good-quality cricket.

“But there’s still a lot of cricket left after James comes back – we’ve got four Championship games one after the other in September.”

Harris cannot play for Glamorgan when they meet Middlesex in the opening Royal London Cup group match in Cardiff on Saturday, but he is eligible for all other fixtures during his month’s loan.

Middlesex, who complete their T20 campaign with games against Surrey at Lord’s on Thursday night (6.15pm) and against Somerset in Taunton the following day, can also recall the 24-year-old at any stage.

The Panthers’ first home match in the 50-over tournament takes place on Sunday, when they clash with Warwickshire at Lord’s (10.30am).

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Tottenham goalscorer Harry Kane (left) grapples with Chelsea captain John Terry during last night's 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, which ended Spurs' title challenge

Harry Kane believes Tottenham showed their fighting spirit in last night’s fiery derby clash against Chelsea – but he feels they should have controlled the game better as they threw away another lead.

Spurs Ladies midfielder Shannon Moloney. Pic: Getty Images/Tottenham Hotspur

Midfielder Shannon Moloney was disappointed with Spurs Ladies’ performance as they lost the second of their three cup finals – and she says the Lilywhites are determined to make amends and win another trophy this weekend.

Yesterday, 22:18
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur turns away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal at Chelsea  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge was ended by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after they threw away a two-goal lead in a fiery and ill-tempered London derby.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he felt compelled to confirm his commitment to Tottenham to prove to the club’s current stars and prospective signings that he will be staying at White Hart Lane.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United and create his own legacy at Tottenham after announcing he has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Dele Alli (right) appeared to punch West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during Monday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and has been banned for three games

Dele Alli will continue to take part in training until the end of the season, even though he cannot play for Tottenham, to maintain his fitness ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 Championship.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has announced he has verbally agreed a two-year contract extension at Tottenham, extending his stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe