Ashes 2013-14: Kevin Pietersen fit for final England warm-up

Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen will play in England's final Ashes warm-up match in Australia after recovering from a knee injury.

Pietersen needed a cortisone injection after feeling pain in his problematic right knee against Australia A.

Pace bowlers Steven Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett are all included in England's 12-man squad to face an Australia Invitational XI in Sydney.

James Anderson has been rested, while Jonny Bairstow will deputise for injured wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

The four-day match begins at 23:30 GMT on Tuesday.

After heavy rain prevented England from practising outdoors at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Pietersen batted in the indoor nets on Wednesday without showing any discomfort from his troublesome right knee.

The Surrey right-hander, who is set to play his 100th Test at the Gabba in Brisbane from 21 November, was sidelined for three months earlier this year with deep bruising around the bone.

Finn and Tremlett are expected to be picked ahead of Boyd Rankin in a three-man seam attack containing Stuart Broad.

Finn recorded match figures of 3-176 in the draw with a Western Australia Chairman's XI Perth, but did not feature in England's rain-affected draw with Australia A in Hobart.

He is hoping that the Sydney weather improves so he can stake a claim for an Ashes place.

"We're not too downhearted about it, and I'm sure - if the weather's nice for these four days - we'll be able to get out there and set our standards high," said Finn.

"Obviously, if I play this game, I need to give as good an account of myself as I can - so that I can try to put myself in contention for the first Test match."

Much of the attention in England's final match will focus on Bairstow, who stands to deputise for Prior if the regular's keeper calf tear rules him out of the opening Test.

Bairstow keeps wicket for Yorkshire but has only taken the role once for England - in a Twenty20 international in October 2012.

Meanwhile, Bairstow's Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance looks to have missed his chance of making his Test debut in Brisbane after he was left out of the squad in Sydney.

Michael Carberry will be given another chance to cement his position at the top of the order following his unbeaten 153 in Hobart, with Joe Root likely to bat at number six.

England (v Australia Invitational XI in Sydney, from): AN Cook (Captain), MA Carberry, IJL Trott, IR Bell, KP Pietersen, JE Root, JM Bairstow (wkt), SCJ Broad, GP Swann, ST Finn, CT Tremlett, WB Rankin.