Midweek Sport - - SPORT -

ENG­LAND are hop­ing that ‘ice­man’ Kevin Pi­etersen will prove his fit­ness for the third Ashes Test next week.

The bats­man (right) was not on the field as his team-mates wrapped up a 347-run win in the sec­ond Test at Lord’s on Sun­day, hav­ing suf­fered a calf strain.

He has since pro­vided an up­date on his re­cov­ery, tweet­ing that he was “stuck on a sofa tightly fas­tened to an ice ma­chine” in a bid to be ready for Old Traf­ford on Au­gust 1.

And in-form pace ace James An­der­son re­vealed: “As far as I know it was a strain, so we’ll keep our fin­gers crossed that he’ll be fine for the Old Traf­ford Test.

“For him more than most, the next 10 days will be cru­cial – a lot of re­hab and try­ing to get him­self fit for next week, which we’re all hop­ing he will be.”

There are no such prob­lems with Joe Root, who con­tin­ued his rapid rise by mak­ing 180 in the sec­ond in­nings at Lord’s.

“He’s been amaz­ing,” said An­der­son of the 22-year-old York­shire­man.

“There’s a lot of pres­sure on this se­ries and for some­one so young to take it in his stride, it’s a great credit to him.”

An­der­son ex­pects his home track in Manch­ester to fol­low the pat­tern es­tab­lished so far in the se­ries, with re­verse swing to the fore and help also avail­able for spin­ner Graeme Swann, who took nine wick­ets at Lord’s.

“I’m de­lighted to be play­ing at my home ground, very ex­cited about it,” said the Lan­cashire quickie.

“I’ve never played an Ashes Test at Old Traf­ford, so I can’t wait for it to come round.”

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