London:Ian Bell is set to replace injured Kevin Pietersen after England on Sunday named the dour Warwickshire batsman in its 13-member squad for the third Ashes Test against Australia starting Thursday at Edgbaston.
The England and Wales Cricket Board is also optimistic that retiring hero Andrew Flintoff, nursing a troublesome knee, would be fit for the match even though ECB named pacer Steve Harmison, apart from left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, in the 13-man squad.
Bell is more or less certain to walk into the playing XI since Pietersen underwent a surgery that ruled him out of action for at least six weeks.
"We have obviously had to make a change to the side following Kevin Pietersen's unavailability ... Kevin's injury has presented an opportunity for Ian Bell who we know is a top-class batsmen with an excellent international record for England," chief selector Geoff Miller said.
"Ian will be looking to make the most of his return to the side during an Ashes series and while we have a strong idea of where he will bat we won't be disclosing the final line-up of the side until the toss on Thursday," he said.
Bell was dropped from the England side after the West Indies tour but the 27-year-old batsman scored heavily in the County Championship to merit a comeback after Pietersen was ruled out.
Miller, meanwhile, seemed optimistic about Flintoff's chances of playing in Edgbaston.
"Andrew Flintoff's performance at Lord's was truly memorable and we are hopeful he can take his place in the side for the third Test as he continues to manage his knee injury," said Miller.
"Andrew and the medical staff are quite bullish about his prospects of playing but we'll continue to monitor his progress in the days leading up to Thursday," he added.
On including Harmison and Panesar in the squad, Miller said, "Steve Harmison and Monty Panesar once again come into the squad, and both players provide us with cover and exciting options within the bowling attack."
England lead the five-match series 1-0 after their win in the second Test at Lord's.
Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Matthew Prior (wk), Andrew Flintoff, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions, Stephen Harmison and Monty Panesar.