Cricket: Bell passed fit for second test

Ian Bell and Graeme Swann have been included in England's unchanged 12-man squad for the second and final test against New Zealand at Headingley after recovering from illness.

Bell spent substantial time off the field during the 170-run win over the Kiwis at Lord's in the first test because of effects from a flu. Swann also felt ill during that test but both have been passed fit.

Yorkshire seamer Tim Bresnan will be pushing for a start on his home ground, having been left out of the starting lineup at Lord's, when the second test starts Friday.

"We are aware that there are still areas that we need to improve on and the players and coaches will be working hard ahead of the second test to ensure we continue to get better as a side," national selector Geoff Miller said.

"New Zealand showed again that they are a dangerous side and we know we will need to produce another strong performance this week to secure a series victory."

Kevin Pietersen is still missing with a knee injury sustained in March during England's tour to New Zealand. He was expected to return by the middle of June, in time for the Ashes series against Australia, but England bowling coach David Saker is unsure whether the brilliant batsman will be fit for the first test at Trent Bridge starting on July 10.

"He doesn't know, and until he knows he can run around and it doesn't flare up, he can't have an answer on that," Saker said on Monday. "He hopes he will be ready.

"He was really excited about getting ready for the Ashes, but he said he is still not sure."


England: Alastair Cook (captain) James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.

- AP

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