Realistically, Matthew Hoggard will miss the next Test; and probably the third too. Patently, England have no real choice: they simply must recall Stephen Harmison. Goodness, we all now how erratic he can be. But he the one quick Sri Lanka will genuinely fear.
After his nightmarish Ashes series, Harmison had an indifferent, though improving, series against the West Indies. Thereafter, he has mixed injuries with some blistering domestic form for both Durham and the Highveld Lions in South Africa. After his traumatic time there in 2004/05, he deserves much credit for returning there to prove his Test match readiness, taking 13 wickets in just two games. Even though his bowling was awash with wides and no-balls, perhaps his attitude has changed for the better. Reports suggest he has been terrific in the Sri Lankan nets.
James Anderson was narrowly preferred to Harmison for the Kandy Test but was awful, lacking penetration and leaking runs. Ryan Sidebottom was also disappointing, but at least he reined in the runs; after his outstanding return to international cricket, particularly during the ODIs in Sri Lanka, he doesn't deserve to be dispensed with yet. That just leaves the last place, to go to either Stuart Broad or Graeme Swann, depending on the conditions. Both would aid England's tail.
Whatever the criticisms that can be thrown at him, Harmison possesses pace and bounce, necessities for a side needing a win to draw level in the series. Were he to wilt in the last two Tests, there would be a very real case for ending his Test career. Before that, however, he must be given the chance to help his country when they have their backs to the wall on one of cricket's toughest tours. He has talked the talk. Now Harmison must walk the walk, and prove he can be a match-winner once more.