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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
England drop Thorpe for Pietersen
Thorpe and Pietersen
Thorpe makes way for Pietersen in the first Test squad
Batsman Kevin Pietersen will make his England Test debut against Australia in the first Test next week after Graham Thorpe was left out of the Ashes squad.

Pietersen has hit two half-centuries against Australia this summer while Thorpe, a veteran of 100 Tests, has suffered form and injury worries.

The move could signal the end of Thorpe's Test career, which began with a century against Australia in 1993.

Hampshire bowler Chris Tremlett is also in the 12-man squad for Lord's.

But the uncapped Tremlett is likely to miss out unless there is an injury to the first choice pace bowlers.

Matthew Hoggard was not part of the one-day squad, which beat Australia in two of their six completed matches in the last month, but is likely to resume his role opening the Test attack.

We have no doubts that he will be able to transfer his one-day form into the Test arena
Selector David Graveney on Pietersen

Batsman Ian Bell keeps his place after making an impressive showing against Bangladesh earlier this summer and with Mark Butcher ruled out with a wrist injury.

England head selector David Graveney, said the choice between Thorpe and Pietersen was "the most difficult decision that I have been party to".

Pietersen's one-day form, "energy and enthusiasm" saw him preferred.

"We have no doubts that he will be able to transfer his one-day form into the Test arena," said Graveney.

"We firmly believe that he has the potential to become a world class player in England's middle order and a genuine match-winner."

This is an opportunity for me to cement my place in the England side and reward people for selecting me
Kevin Pietersen

South African-born Pietersen, 25, qualified by residency to play for England last October and has already made 786 runs, at an average of 87.33 in 21 one-day internationals.

He underlined his value to the Test team with an innings of 74 in the final NatWest Challenge one-day match against Australia on Tuesday.

He would become the first England player to make his debut in an Ashes Test at Lord's since Bob Woolmer and David Steele in 1975.

Thorpe, 35, had an epidural injection in his spine in an attempt to be fit, and hit a half-century for Surrey earlier this week.

He has made clear his intention to retire at the end of the summer by taking a coaching contract with Australian state side New South Wales.

In 100 Tests, the most recent against Bangladesh at Durham last month, he hit 6,744 runs at an average of 44.66.

Graveney said the selectors do not view Graham Thorpe's dropping as the end of his international career.

"He has been one of our most impressive performers since he returned to Test cricket in 2003," he added.

"And, subject to form and fitness, he will continue to come under consideration for the remainder of the npower Ashes Test series."

England squad: M E Trescothick, A J Strauss, M P Vaughan (Capt), I R Bell, K P Pietersen, A Flintoff, G O Jones (Wkt), A Giles, S P Jones, M J Hoggard, S J Harmison, C T Tremlett.

News conference: Kevin Pietersen

News conference: England chairman of selectors David Graveney

Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew


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