SOUTH AFRICA - ENGLAND LINE UP


England have made two changes to their team for Kevin Pietersen's debut Test as captain against South Africa, starting at The Oval on Thursday.

Ryan Sidebottom, England's leading wicket-taker this year, is replaced by Stuart Broad for the fourth and final match of the series, while Steve Harmison comes in for former skipper Michael Vaughan, leaving no place for Ravi Bopara.

The decision to ignore Essex batsman Bopara as Vaughan's replacement means England have reverted to a five-man bowling attack, despite failing to score more than 250 in the first innings of the last two Tests.

Ian Bell has been promoted to his favoured number three position, while all-rounder Andrew Flintoff will bat at number six having played at seven in the two previous Tests.

It will be Harmison's first Test since the opening defeat against New Zealand in Hamilton last March, while Board is back after being rested at Edgbaston.

Tim Ambrose, picked at number eight at Headingley and number six at Edgbaston, once again has to move to number seven to accommodate the return of Flintoff at six.

After successive defeats at Headingley and Edgbaston handed South Africa the series, Pietersen's side have the chance to salvage some pride in south London and the new skipper is happy with the attacking line-up.

"I'm going to go with four fast bowlers and Monty (Panesar)," Pietersen said.

"I think it is an aggressive move, a positive move. We need to take 20 wickets in this Test -- you need to take 20 in any Test -- and I feel a lot more comfortable with four fast bowlers.

"We've given responsibility to the batters to score runs with Colly (Paul Collingwood) at five, Freddie (Andrew Flintoff) at six, Timmy (Ambrose) seven and Broad eight. I'm looking forward to getting started.

"I like Steve and what he brings to the team. He's had his ups and downs but I have a really good relationship with Steve.

"He seems as excited as anything and he had a bit of a bounce in his step.

"I like Steve in the side. Mooresy (coach Peter Moores) and I are singing from the same hymn sheet at the moment. It's all positive."

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said there will be no special motivation for his side because of Pietersen's South African upbringing and his criticism of the South African system when he pledged his future to England.

"Not at all," said Arthur. "Our guys are extremely motivated for any Test match, irrespective of who the opposition is or who the captain is."

He said there was no lingering feeling among his players that Pietersen was still a South African.

"He made his decision. It's clearly been a good move for him and he's regarded as the enemy now. We can't claim him."

Arthur said he wished Pietersen well as captain but warned that he would face some major challenges.

"Does it affect his batting, what's his vision going to be going forward? I guess all these things will be answered over the next year or so."

Arthur said he was not totally satisfied with his team despite them leading the series 2-0.

"We are a very goal-driven side. We want to become very resilient, we want to be ruthless and this is part of the journey. For us there's no dead rubber. It's about us winning 3-0.

"There are areas we haven't performed well in. We're looking to improve all the time and become the complete package, which I don't think we are yet."

TEAMS


ENGLAND (from): Kevin Pietersen (captain), Andrew Strauss, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Ravi Bopara, Andrew Flintoff, Tim Ambrose, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Ryan Sidebottom, Monty Panesar, Steve Harmison.

SOUTH AFRICA (probable): Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Ashwell Prince, AB de Villiers, Mark Boucher, Morne Morkel, Paul Harris, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini.




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