England enlisted the help of former Proteas spinner Simon Harmer ahead of this week’s second Ashes Test at Lord’s in London.
The hosts’ decision to drop all-rounder Moeen Ali left a lack of off-spin in the squad. Harmer was included in Monday’s training session to effectively mimic the threat posed by Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Lyon took nine wickets in last week’s opener at Edgbaston in Birmingham, where the tourists won comfortably for an early lead in the five-Test series.
Harmer played five Tests in 2015 before forging a career with Essex in the County Championship. He was first-class cricket’s leading wicket-taker last year.
England have named left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the 12-man squad for the second Test. He or seaming all-rounder Sam Curran will replace Ali in the XI.
The tourists, meanwhile, might go unchanged. Alternatively, fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood or Mitchell Starc will return.
‘Where we’re fortunate at the moment is we’ve got six fit and healthy fast bowlers. I’ve been coaching for about 10 years now and I can’t ever remember having that luxury, but it could change like that so we’re not getting carried away with it,’ said coach Justin Langer.
‘The fact that we had Josh and Starc on the bench last Test match; it doesn’t happen very often so we won’t get complacent with it we’ll just be happy we’re in that spot.’
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