Panesar is back in line as England hold on for Pietersen

England batsman Kevin Pietersen will be given longer to prove his fitness for the third Ashes Test against Australia starting on Thursday.

Nottinghamshire's James Taylor (right) and Sussex's Monty Panesar

Pietersen is continuing to nurse the calf strain sustained in the second Test at Lord’s, but has been included in a 14-man squad for the next match at Old Trafford.

Nottinghamshire’s James Taylor has been rewarded for his form this season by being recalled as cover for the 33-year-old.

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While all of the final XI from Lord’s are retained, England have made two other changes to the squad with Monty Panesar and Chris Tremlett returning at the expense of Steven Finn and Graham Onions.

Panesar will give England the option of playing a second spinner at a ground that has traditionally favoured slow bowling while Tremlett offers extra pace for a likely hard surface.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “Kevin Pietersen is continuing his recovery from a calf strain and he will be assessed by the medical team closer to the start of the Test. We have, therefore, included an extra batsman in James Taylor, who has been in good form for Nottinghamshire this season.

“Chris Tremlett has worked hard to regain fitness and form following a couple of injuries and his performances for Surrey this season have been very encouraging.

“Including an additional spinner in Monty Panesar, who has plenty of international experience, provides Alastair Cook (captain) and Andy Flower (coach) with a number of options.”

Pietersen’s fitness will be England’s prime concern over the next few days.

Pietersen has not been at his most prolific this summer, and has been troubled by injury throughout the calendar year, but the 33-year-old remains an important member of the squad as England bid to wrap up an early series win.

England can retain the Ashes with victory in Manchester after edging a thrilling opener by 14 runs at Trent Bridge and winning by a convincing 347-run margin at Lord’s.

Taylor, who played two Tests against South Africa last summer, offers good form as back-up, having scored 824 runs at an average of 58.85 in the County Championship this summer.

The 23-year-old was drafted into the Sussex side as a guest this week to play in the tour match against Australia at Hove, and responded with a century as he hit an unbeaten 121.

Taylor said: “I’m delighted to be back in the England squad – it’s one step closer to playing – but we all hope KP is fit and well for the game.

“I have scored plenty of runs in all formats now and I am feeling in good touch.”

Taylor managed just 48 runs in his three Test innings last summer and was subsequently overlooked for the winter tours of India and New Zealand, being replaced by Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow.

Taylor, who made 34 and shared in a 147-run partnership with Pietersen to secure England a draw against the Proteas at Headingley, believes he has improved since then.

He said: “Some might say (I was) unlucky but I didn’t really score as many runs as I hoped.

“I had a brief little taste, a few innings, and it was a great experience – but it was a bit too brief for my liking.

“It is nice to be back in the squad. I am in a better space mentally, and probably my game is in a better space than I was a year ago.

“I am another year experienced and I have got a shedload more runs behind me. I have had a little taster against Australia and if required I’ll be up for it.”

Limited-overs mainstay Morgan, who has played 16 Tests, Somerset opener Nick Compton – dropped at the start of the summer – and Yorkshire’s middle-order batsman Gary Ballance, whose statistics outshine Taylor’s, were the other options for the England selectors, while concerns over a side strain ended Ravi Bopara’s chances.

Panesar’s recall could earn him a first home Test cap in four years, although he has made nine overseas appearances since, most recently featuring in New Zealand in March.

He has long been regarded as England’s second-choice spinner to Graeme Swann and would relish a chance at Old Trafford, where he has taken 25 wickets in three Tests.

Panesar, who has 48 caps in total, has also been playing in the tour match for Sussex and took 3-70 in the first innings.

He said: “I am excited. I’m delighted for the call-up and I am really looking forward to joining up with the squad.

“Old Trafford is a pitch I’ve got a good record on and I’ve taken a lot of wickets.

“More importantly, if I’m bowling well, taking wickets here and putting the Australian batsmen under pressure, it puts me in good stead if they want to go with two spinners.

“I’m in a great place to knock some more Australian poles over.”

Tremlett returns for the first time in 18 months after a number of injury problems.

In January, 2012, he played for England against Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai but a back injury ended his tour before the second Test.

He then had to undergo surgery for a bulging disc in February which caused him to miss most of the 2012 season while he recuperated.

Finn was dropped from the side after a disappointing performance in the first Test in Nottingham and misses out on a squad place altogether. Onions was a non-playing member of the squad for both opening matches.