Strauss Is Backed to Carry on as Skipper; but Flower Says 'Deep Issues' Cast Doubt over Kp's Future

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 21, 2012 | Go to article overview

Strauss Is Backed to Carry on as Skipper; but Flower Says 'Deep Issues' Cast Doubt over Kp's Future


Byline: Tom Collomosse Cricket Correspondent

ANDY FLOWER today insisted Andrew Strauss is still the right man to lead England's Test team but painted a bleak picture of the future for Kevin Pietersen by admitting the batsman's problems run deeper than a simple clash with the captain.

Strauss was slightly equivocal about his position after yesterday's defeat by South Africa at Lord's, which enabled the tourists to replace England at the top of the ICC Test rankings. The skipper is taking some time away this week to contemplate matters.

It would be a surprise, however, were Strauss not in charge for the First Test against India in Ahmedabad in mid-November. It is clear that, despite six defeats from 11 Tests this year, he is in a strong position. It is just as apparent that Pietersen faces a difficult road back to the team after he was also left out of the squad today for next month's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

"Strauss is a superb leader and can certainly take our Test side on," said coach Flower. "There is no doubt about that. He deserves a little break, he is taking that now, and he will come back refreshed I'm sure.

"He can certainly take this side forward. He could have scored more runs in the South Africa series, of course, but that goes for all seven of our batsmen. He will come back and I'm sure he's got his thoughts very clear."

Pietersen's camp hope for a face-to-face meeting with Strauss following his exclusion from the side for Lord's after he sent text messages to South Africa players during the Second Investec Test at Headingley earlier this month. That is unlikely to happen this week as Strauss is away, but there may be discussions with other England and Wales Cricket Board officials. …

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