London, Jul 7: Star England batsman Kevin Pietersen has been included in the 13-man squad for the first Ashes test against Australia.
Returning from a knee injury, Pietersen proved his form and fitness ahead of the series by scoring an undefeated 177 for Surrey last month.
Graham Onions is also in the squad and will be vying for the third seamer's spot behind Stuart Broad and James Anderson.
Broad has recovered from a shoulder injury, which ruled him out of England's warm-up match against Essex and is fit enough to play in the first test.
Opening batsman Nick Compton, however, is left out. His exclusion was expected after England picked Joe Root to open alongside Alastair Cook against Essex, although it would be the first time Root has opened in a test match after previously batting for England at No. 5.
Spin bowler Graeme Swann is also selected despite an arm injury against Essex, which is not thought to be serious.
“We are satisfied with our preparations so far for the first Test, with both Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad recovering well from the injuries they picked up earlier this week,” England selector Geoff Miller said.
“This is an incredibly exciting period of cricket coming up against Australia, and we know we will need to play to our full potential throughout ... if we are to retain the Ashes.”
Miller added that Compton could still play in the series.
“I told him that we've not closed the door on him at all,” Miller said.
If England wins the series, it will be its fourth Ashes victory out of the last five.
The first of the five-match series starts Wednesday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.