England v India, 3rd Test, The Oval August 8, 2007

England boost as Pietersen passed fit

Cricinfo staff

Kevin Pietersen: back at The Oval on Wednesday, albeit a little weary © Getty Images

England received an eve-of-Test boost with the appearance of Kevin Pietersen at their practice session on Wednesday. He had been confined to his hotel room yesterday with a high temperature and was put on antibiotics.

"He's alright," said England's captain, Michael Vaughan. "He had a net but didn't take part in the run-around fielding drill, but he'll be fine to go into tomorrow's game.

"It was just a virus," said Vaughan. "It was slightly worrying yesterday but the doctor said so long as he got his tablets down he'd be okay. Obviously it's better for seeing him here having a bat, and a big relief for the team because he's such a big player."

Pietersen is England's second-highest run scorer in the series with 203 runs at an average of 50.75. He won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 134 in the second innings at Lord's which gave England the upper hand in a drawn Test. At Trent Bridge, Pietersen was the fielder at whom Zaheer Khan waved his bat angrily during the jelly bean controversy. He was dismissed lbw by RP Singh for 13 in the first innings and 19 in the second, a short while after he evaded a head-high beamer from Sreesanth.

In Pietersen's absence, England's penultimate practice session involved just 10 players, because the reserve seamer, Stuart Broad, had been released to play for Leicestershire in a Pro40 match at Derby. No reserve was summoned to cover for Pietersen.