May 032013

England will name their final 15-man squad for next month’s ICC Champions Trophy at 10:30 BST on Friday.

Star batsman Kevin Pietersen has been ruled out with a knee injury , and wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter is out for six weeks with a fractured thumb.

Kieswetter’s Somerset team-mate Jos Buttler, who displaced him as England’s limited-overs keeper during the winter, should continue with the gloves.

Spinner Graeme Swann made a comeback from his elbow injury this week.

However, England must decide whether to recall him immediately, after he missed the Test series in New Zealand to have surgery, or manage his recovery with an eye on the Ashes series against Australia, for which he is hoping to be fit.

There are unlikely to be wholesale changes to the 15-man squad who helped England to a 2-1 one-day international series win in New Zealand in February.

Pietersen had been rested for that series, so England may keep faith with their batting line-up of captain Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Buttler, with Jonny Bairstow as the spare batsman and back-up keeper – although all-rounder Luke Wright may also be considered.

More interesting will be the bowlers chosen. In New Zealand, Swann played as the sole spinner ahead of James Tredwell and Samit Patel, who both remain in contention for the Champions Trophy.

James Anderson, Steven Finn and Stuart Broad are likely to remain the three first-choice seamers, while Chris Woakes should be in the squad after he played against the Kiwis.

Tim Bresnan is pushing for a recall after missing the New Zealand tour with an elbow injury and impressing in Yorkshire’s early games – and if he is chosen, there may not be room for the uncapped James Harris, who was in the one-day squad down under.

England’s ICC Champions Trophy provisional 30-man squad (to be reduced to 15): Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Varun Chopra (Warwickshire), Rikki Clarke (Warwickshire), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), James Harris (Middlesex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), Stuart Meaker (Surrey), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), *Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Taylor (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Chris Wright (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).

*already ruled out of the tournament with injury

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