Pietersen a major doubt for India Twenty20 clash

ENGLAND batsman Kevin Pietersen will have a fitness test on his broken thumb today but is rated “very doubtful” for his side’s one-off Twenty20 match against India at Eden Gardens tomorrow.

Pietersen missed the final match of England’s 5-0 one-day series hammering by their hosts, at the same venue on Tuesday, having injured his thumb in last Sunday’s defeat in Mumbai.

The middle-order batsman was optimistic yesterday that the bruising was going down, and he might therefore be able to play on Saturday – in a match that will see England defend their newfound status as the No1-ranked team in the shortest format of the game.

“He will have a fitness test today,” a team spokesman said. “He is still very doubtful for Saturday.”

Youngsters Alex Hales and Jos Butler, who weren’t involved in the one-day series, are likely to be given the chance to impress.