As Kevin Pietersen declared his readiness to return to the international arena yesterday, England were dealing with their habitual slew of injuries on tour. Their three leading fast bowlers were all suffering a variety of niggles as was the off-spinner, Graeme Swann.
With the first of two Twenty20 matches taking place tomorrow the physiotherapists' room was a maelstrom of activity. Stuart Broad is almost certain not to play in either of the T20 matches, though it is hoped his right shoulder will recover in time for the 50-over series starting next week.
Jimmy Anderson's knee is not expected to cause him further difficulties and Graham Onions, who has been suffering from a sore back, is expected to be available. The problem for England and Onions is that he has not yet bowled on tour. Swann's slightly strained side was much improved yesterday, so England are not quite down to bare bones.
There is no intention of bringing Andrew Strauss into the T20 side, although he is England's most accomplished batsman. Strauss and the team management are sticking to the decision for him to be unavailable for the short-form game. Pietersen will also not be considered for the T20 matches despite England's lamentable batting against South Africa A on Tuesday.