Ashes 2013: Anderson upbeat over Pietersen fitness

London: England fast bowler James Anderson said on Tuesday the team were optimistic Kevin Pietersen would be fit for next week`s third Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Pietersen, arguably England`s most talented batsman, was off the field when the side completed a 347-run win over Australia in the second Test at Lord`s on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.

The South Africa-born shotmaker tweeted yesterday he was "stuck on a sofa tightly fastened to an ice machine" in a bid to be ready to play at Manchester`s Old Trafford where the third Test starts on August 1.

And Anderson told Sky Sports News: "As far as I know it was a strain so we`ll keep our fingers crossed that he`ll be fine for the Old Trafford Test.

"For him more than most, the next 10 days will be crucial, a lot of rehab and trying to get himself fit for next week -- which we`re all hoping he will be."

There were no such worries for Pietersen`s fellow England batsman Joe Root, who made a commanding 180 in the second innings at Lord`s.

"He`s been amazing," said Anderson of the 22-year-old Yorkshireman.

"There`s a lot of pressure on this series and for someone so young to take it in his stride, it`s a great credit to him -- he seems to thrive off it, almost.

"The way he has dealt with it will stand him in good stead for the future and I`m sure he`s got a big future ahead of him."

The next Test takes place at Anderson`s Lancashire home ground and he expects the pitch there to be similar to those in the first two Tests, aiding reverse swing and providing plenty of turn for off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took nine wickets at Lord`s.

"I can`t imagine it`ll be too different from what we`ve had in the first two games, so Swanny should be involved at some point," said Anderson.

"Reverse swing is very common at Old Trafford and it`s very dry, with the weather we`ve been having, so I imagine that`s the same at the moment.

"Obviously I`m delighted to be playing at my home ground, very excited about it," Anderson added.

"I`ve never played an Ashes Test there, I`ve not played a Test there for maybe three or four years. All my friends and family will be there watching so I can`t wait."


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