LONDON: Kevin Pietersen was included in a 14-man squad for next week’s third Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford despite concerns over his calf injury, announced the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced.
Star batsman Pietersen will be given time to prove his fitness for the match, which starts at the Manchester venue on Thursday, with Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor added to the squad as cover.
England have also altered their bowling options by bringing in Monty Panesar as a second spinner and recalling fast-bowler Chris Tremlett in place of seamers Steven Finn and Graham Onions.
Pietersen suffered his latest fitness setback in England’s crushing 347-run second Test win at Lord’s last week and could not field in the second-innings.
Taylor always looked the most likely candidate to be called up as cover after the ECB sought special dispensation for the diminutive batsman to guest for Sussex in their ongoing tour match against Australia at Hove.
Taylor, 64 not out overnight, went on to make an unbeaten 121 against Australia on the final day as Sussex declared on 268 for seven, two runs ahead of the tourists’ first-innings 366 for five declared.
Taylor played two Tests against South Africa last year but did not make the England squad for the tours of India and New Zealand, falling behind Nick Compton and Joe Root in the England pecking order.
Victory at Old Trafford would see England, currently 2-0 up with three to play, clinch the series and retain the Ashes.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2013.
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