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In an interview with CricInfo, Steve Harmison has admitted his surprise at his call-up to England's one-day squad for the VB series against Australia and Sri Lanka, but hopes the experience will be another step towards establishing himself as England's premier strike bowler over the next few years.

"It was a bit of a surprise getting into the one-day squad, but with all the injuries I thought I might have an outside chance," Harmison said today. "I've been quite pleased with my form over the past couple of weeks in the two Tests and hopefully I can take that into the one-day game.

"Playing in the one-dayers will be a help to my game. It's international cricket and the more international cricket you play the better you become. It's a new level for me to go into and hopefully I can take what I learn here into the final two Test matches."

Harmison may be seen as a force in the middle of the innings, providing extra pace when the ball has gone softer, as Brett Lee does for Australia.

"If you look at last summer and also in Sri Lanka we didn't take enough wickets," said chairman of selectors David Graveney. "Going in with only four main bowlers can cause a problem and India have just experienced that against West Indies.

"In one-day cricket, with just one bouncer an over allowed, it's hard to keep scores down and we just feel we need to have more depth in our bowling."

Harmison added: "I bowl mainly at the start and in the middle period for Durham in one-day cricket and it's mainly a containing job for Durham, but in international one-day cricket, if I'm bowling all in the middle, England will be looking to take wickets - that will be my job, to try and take a couple of wickets in that 15 to 40 overs period."

Harmison's selection follows a wholehearted recommendation from Australia's Dennis Lillee, who rates both him and Jones, who suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee during the opening Test in Brisbane.

"There's something there with Harmison," stressed Lillee. "He's very much worth persevering with because he's got something and particularly when you're that tall, if you put it in the right area you've got some chance."

Source: CricInfo
Photograph: Getty Images

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