KP worked hard yesterday with England physio Craig de Weymarn, doing drills in the outfield at Old Trafford and batting in the nets, and is likely to remain in an unaltered batting line-up.
A potentially ragged pitch is posing the questions of whether either side will play two spinners, with England bringing Monty Panesar into their squad alongside Graeme Swann.
“It looks a little bit interesting,” Australian opening batsman Chris Rogers said. “There’s a few cracks there already – it’ll be interesting to see how it plays; it’s quite hard.”
Local groundskeepers are dismissing any claims the pitch will play any differently to other Tests here.
The prospect of a spinner’s paradise is a shame for Australia, with second spinner and all-rounder Steve Smith a question mark after sitting out training yesterday.
Rogers said he’d be “good to go” though.
Nathan Lyon is tipped to replace Ashton Agar as the frontline spinner after the 19-year-old was ineffective with the ball in his first two Tests.
David Warner is the other Aussie pushing for a spot in the middle order, with number three Phil Hughes the likely head to roll.
Rogers said Warner can change a game the way Adam Gilchrist used to from the middle order, which is where the slugger would come in if included in the squad.
“Davey brings a lot of energy to the group always,” Rogers said. “He’s just one of those guys, he goes at 100 miles an hour. It’s fantastic to see him get runs, he’s such a destructive player that if he bats for a while he could put some real pressure on England. He’s one of those the opposition know they have to get out quickly. If he bats for a while he can take the game away, like a Gilchrist used to do.”
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