x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Pietersen opts for attack option

England make two changes to their line-up for the final Test against South Africa as they attempt to salvage some pride.

LONDON // England have made two changes to their line-up for the final Test against South Africa which starts today as they attempt to salvage some pride at the Oval. Already without Michael Vaughan, England have also given the left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom a break for the final Test. But rather than recall the Essex batsman Ravi Bopara for his first Test since last December, England have instead reverted to a five-man attack with Stuart Broad and Steve Harmison coming back.

Ian Bell has been promoted to his favoured No 3 position, while the all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will bat at No 6. Broad has been recalled after being rested because of his workload for Edgbaston while Harmison plays his first Test since the opening defeat against New Zealand in Hamilton last March. But it is the batting order which is expected to provoke the most debate with England deciding to field an extra bowler despite failing to score 250 in the first innings of both the last two Tests.

Tim Ambrose, picked at No 8 at Headingley and No 6 at Edgbaston, once again has to move to No 7 to accommodate the return of Flintoff at six - which is a change in policy from the Vaughan regime who always had their key all-rounder as a No7. Pietersen said: "I'm going to go with four fast bowlers and Monty Panesar. "I think it is an aggressive move, a positive move. We need to take 20 wickets in any Test."

* PA Sport