The Ashes: Kevin Pietersen returns to England duty


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The Independent Online

Kevin Pietersen returned to England duty this afternoon in a specifically-organised training session at the Kia Oval.

Pietersen ended his three months away from the England set-up, following a knee injury, with an individual 20-minute net session.

Overseen by spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed, and with none of his team-mates present, Pietersen prepared himself for tomorrow's second NatWest Twenty20 international with New Zealand against a pool of net bowlers.

The 32-year-old showed no obvious sign of discomfort as he was put through his paces, and at one point hit one of the bowlers out of the stadium.

Immediately after returning to the dressing-room Pietersen posted a picture of himself in his England training kit on Twitter, which read: "Back with ENG!"

Pietersen will get his only opportunity to impress in an England shirt against international opposition tomorrow night before the Ashes begin at Trent Bridge on July 10.

The right-hander has also been included for England's Ashes warm-up match against Essex which starts on Sunday.

He has not played for England since he was forced home from the tour of New Zealand in March with the knee injury.

The problem subsequently ruled him out of the return Test and one-day series against the Black Caps as well as the Champions Trophy.

That had threatened his Ashes place but he proved rustiness would not be a problem when he made his belated return for Surrey at the weekend.

Pietersen blasted an unbeaten 177 in an LV= County Championship match against Yorkshire at Headingley and, after also spending two days in the field, reported no ill effects on his Twitter page.