By BV Swagath
England has made two changes to their squad for the Third Test at Manchester which begins on August 1st. Left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who was the architect of England’s elusive Test Series win in India recently, has been included in the squad. Panesar’s inclusion clearly means that Old Trafford which has traditionally assisted slow bowlers will live up to its reputation in the Third Ashes Test. In all likelihood, the pitch at Old Trafford could be tailor-made to suit the English spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar.
The hosts have dropped Steven Finn and Graham Onions for the Third Test. Star batsman Kevin Pietersen’s place in the team is subject to a fitness test with the right-hander sustaining a calf muscle injury.
Apart from Monty, England has given Test recall to tall fast bowler Chris Tremlett and diminutive middle order batsman James Taylor.
Commenting on the Squad, National Selector Geoff Miller is quoted in the ECB website as: "The players worked hard at Trent Bridge and Lord's to get into a very good position in this Investec Ashes Series but will be fully aware that there is still a great deal of cricket left in the series.
"The players have had some time this week to recover following back-to-back Tests and an opportunity to work on aspects of their game and they will arrive in Manchester determined to build on their performances over the last two Tests.
"Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and he will be assessed by the medical team closer to the start of the Test and we have therefore included an extra batsman in James Taylor who has been in good form for Nottinghamshire this season.
"Chris Tremlett has worked hard to regain fitness and form following a couple of injuries and his performances for Surrey this season have been very encouraging.
"Including an additional spinner in Monty Panesar who has plenty of international experience provides Alastair Cook and Andy Flower with a number of options."
England Squad for Third Test: Alastair Cook (Captain), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, James Taylor, Matt Prior, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Monty Panesar