Ashes 2013: Alastair Cook confident Kevin Pietersen will be fit for third Test

Calf complaint has made batsman a doubt

England captain Alastair Cook is confident Kevin Pietersen will be fit for the start of the third Investec Ashes Test at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Pietersen has been a doubt with a calf complaint he picked up during the victory at Lord's which sent England 2-0 ahead in the series.

Since arriving in Manchester this week Pietersen has been put through his paces to prove his fitness and, while a final decision will be made tomorrow morning, Cook indicated offered a positive outlook.

"(He is) pretty good. He's come through training the past two days and done everything that's been asked of him," he told a press conference.

"Clearly we have to make a decision tomorrow morning just in case he pulls up different to that, but we'll see and we're pretty hopeful.

"We don't know quite how he'll pull up from today's training, but he's worked incredibly hard with the medical team over the last week to get himself right so fingers crossed he has."

Pietersen batted for 15 minutes today as England's preparations were mostly moved indoors due to the wintry weather in Manchester.

The 33-year-old did venture outdoor briefly, for three 30-yard shuttle runs on a damp Old Trafford outfield, but quickly returned under cover with little indication his injured calf was hampering him.

While Pietersen was put through his paces, his possible replacement James Taylor batted inside under the watchful eye of team director Andy Flower.

Pietersen had earlier sought to simulate match conditions during his net, taking the unusual step on occasion to set off and run after playing the ball.

PA

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