LONDON: Kevin Pietersen was included in England’s one-day and Test squads for the tour of South Africa but warned he must prove his fitness before the ODI series starts on November 20.
The star batsman is still recovering from surgery on his achilles tendon, which he underwent in July. He is joined in both squads by another South African-born player, Jonathan Trott, who made a century on his Test debut in England’s Ashes-winning victory over Australia at The Oval.
Pietersen has yet to play a Test in his homeland but he made a big impression there in 2004-05, when he started his England career by making three hundreds in five one-day internationals. “Kevin Pietersen is making good progress with his recovery from surgery,” England selector Geoff Miller reported. “He will join up with the rest of the squad in South Africa following the first two Twenty20 Internationals and his fitness will be reassessed ahead of the one-day series.
There was no place in either squad for fast bowler Steve Harmison, who had indicated he would quit international cricket if he missed out, or for Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah and Monty Panesar. Andrew Strauss will skipper both squads but all-rounder Paul Collingwood will be in charge for the two Twenty20 internationals that precede the one-day matches, despite currently being sidelined with a torn buttock muscle.
The Test squad, missing Andrew Flintoff following his retirement, contains three uncapped players: wicketkeeper Steven Davies, leg-spinner Adil Rashid and all-rounder Luke Wright. Alastair Cook has been named as vice-captain of the Test squad and has also been recalled to the one-day squad — at the expense of Bopara — together with paceman Sajid Mahmood.