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Struggling Pietersen in England squad for Pakistan Test

26 July, 2010

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LEEDS: Kevin Pietersen was named in England`s 12-man squad on Sunday for the first of four Tests against Pakistan starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday despite not having played any cricket for nearly a month because of a thigh injury.

England`s selectors wanted Pietersen to play for Hampshire on Sunday but the county have not included him in their team after he announced his intention to leave the south coast side at the end of the season.

Former Ireland batsman Eoin Morgan retained his place after two moderate displays in England`s 2-0 home series win against Bangladesh in May and June.

Fast bowler Stuart Broad and all-rounder Paul Collingwood have returned to the Test squad after being rested for the Bangladesh series.

Promising quick Steven Finn also retained his place, as did Yorkshire seamer Ajmal Shahzad, who made his debut against Bangladesh.

Ian Bell though will miss all four Tests - England`s last before they begin their defence of the Ashes in Australia in November - after the batsman broke a foot fielding in a shock one-day international defeat by Bangladesh at Bristol on July 10.

Pakistan go into this series on the back of a three-wicket win over Australia at Headingley on Saturday that saw them level a two-Test encounter at 1-1.

England national selector Geoff Miller said: “We have picked a very strong squad for the first Test against a Pakistan side that will be high on confidence following their recent win against Australia.

“We`ve been encouraged by the form shown by a number of England players involved in County Championship matches this week and those that are coming back from injury or rest, such as Kevin Pietersen, have been working very hard ahead of the first Test next week.”

Former England off-spinner Miller added: “Ian Bell`s untimely foot injury was obviously a disappointing blow but he is now focused on his rehabilitation and should make a full recovery in due course.

“Ian`s absence provides other batsmen with the chance to impress against a world-class Pakistan bowling attack.”

England squad: Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Ajmal Shahzad.


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