Pietersen makes squad but Harmison misses out
Thursday 08 October 2009
Kevin Pietersen has been named in England's 16-man Test and one-day squad for the tour of South Africa but will have his fitness assessed following an Achilles problem.
However, Steve Harmison has been left out, as have Ravi Bopara, Owais Shah and Monty Panesar. Harmison has indicated he would quit international cricket if he missed out on selection.
South Africa-born Pietersen, 29, has been sidelined since July following surgery, but was today among the names when national selector Geoff Miller announced the Test and one-day parties, led by captain Andrew Strauss, for the 11-week trip.
Although he is not certain to be fit for the two Twenty20 internationals on November 13 and 15, the England hierarchy remain optimistic of Pietersen's return during the five-match one-day series, which begins on November 20 in Johannesburg and concludes a fortnight later in Durban.
All-rounder Paul Collingwood is included despite being forced out of the Champions League with a torn buttock muscle.
The Test squad - missing Andrew Flintoff following his retirement - also contains three uncapped players: Surrey wicketkeeper Steven Davies, Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid and the Sussex all-rounder Luke Wright.
Durham pace bowler Liam Plunkett has also been recalled to the Test squad.
Essex opener Alastair Cook has been named vice-captain of the Test squad and has also been recalled to the one-day squad together with Lancashire quick bowler Sajid Mahmood.
Jonathan Trott, who made a century on his Test debut in the Ashes victory over Australia at The Oval during the summer, has been named in both squads.
Pietersen has not played since hobbling out of the Ashes victory at Lord's and straight into an operating theatre.
His recovery then suffered a setback when the scar caused by the surgery became infected.
Commenting on the recall of the former England captain, Miller said: "Kevin Pietersen is making good progress with his recovery from surgery on his injured Achilles.
"He will join up with the rest of the squad in South Africa following the first two T20 internationals and his fitness will be reassessed ahead of the one-day series.
"Steve Harmison has not been included in the Test squad because we feel his form has not been consistent enough over the past 12 months to justify a regular place in the side and we want to give an opportunity to other players to make a case for selection."
Miller believes England can build on their successful summer, which saw them reclaim the Ashes and also reach the semi-finals of the recent Champions Trophy.
"Andrew Strauss has made an outstanding impact as England captain over the past nine months and he will again lead the side in both five-day and one-day cricket in South Africa," he said.
"Paul Collingwood led the side in the World T20 this summer and he will continue to captain in this form of the game as we go forward this winter.
"We are delighted to welcome Steven Davies and Luke Wright into the Test squad for the first time.
"Steven is a player of great potential who has been a consistent performer for his county and he will act as understudy to Matt Prior in South Africa.
"The retirement of Andrew Flintoff has created a vacancy for an all-rounder in the squad and while we do not see Luke Wright as a like-for-like replacement for Andrew, we are excited by the way in which his all-round game continues to develop and believe he can make an impact at Test level.
"Liam Plunkett has worked hard to improve all aspects of his game since he last played for England and his selection is reward for consistently putting in strong performances for Durham both with bat and ball.
"He will provide strong competition for a place in our pace attack this winter.
"Sajid Mahmood is another player who has had a taste of international cricket before and will be equally keen to make an impression in the one-day arena after continuing to show good form with Lancashire.
"Alastair Cook has shown great determination to improve his one-day game this summer, made runs at domestic level in both 50-over and T20 cricket and the selectors believe now is the right time to re-introduce him to our one-day side.
"Likewise Jonathan Trott, who has made an immediate impact in our Test side and has also shown through his performances at domestic level that he has the talent and temperament to succeed in the shorter forms of the game."
Miller maintained the players left out can still still have a future with England.
"Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah will, of course, be disappointed not to be included in either squad, but they are both high-class players and will remain in the selectors' thoughts as we go forward," he said.
"Monty Panesar has struggled to find his best form this summer, but he will play domestic first-class cricket in South Africa over the winter and we will continue to monitor his progress closely."
England squads for the winter tour of South Africa:
Test squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) captain, Alastair Cook (Essex) vice-captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Steven Davies (Surrey), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).
One-day squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex) captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Joe Denly (Kent), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).
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