As expected, England have named both James Taylor and Kevin Pietersen in an enlarged 14-man squad for Thursday’s third Ashes Test at Old Trafford, with the latter hoping to recover from a calf strain in time to take his place in the eleven.
Elsewhere, in a slightly more surprising move, both Graham Onions and Steven Finn have been dropped, with Chris Tremlett and Monty Panesar taking their places. Tremlett has been battling to regain full fitness for much of the season and trained with England during the Lord’s Test, obviously impressing them. Panesar, meanwhile, will provide an extra spin option should the pitch in Manchester look like taking turn. However, with Root’s off-spin, it seems very unlikely that he will make the final eleven.
National selector, Geoff Miller, said: “The players worked hard at Trent Bridge and Lord’s to get into a very good position in this Investec Ashes Series but will be fully aware that there is still a great deal of cricket left in the series. The players have had some time this week to recover following back to back Tests and an opportunity to work on aspects of their game and they will arrive in Manchester determined to build on their performances over the last two Tests.
“Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and he will be assessed by the medical team closer to the start of the Test and we have therefore included an extra batsman in James Taylor who has been in good form for Nottinghamshire this season. Chris Tremlett has worked hard to regain fitness and form following a couple of injuries and his performances for Surrey this season have been very encouraging. Including an additional spinner in Monty Panesar who has plenty of international experience provides Alastair Cook and Andy Flower with a number of options.”
England Test squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, James Taylor, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Monty Panesar.
© Cricket World 2013