England captain Andrew Strauss on Wednesday insisted there were no cracks in his relationship with Kevin Pietersen after he suggested the batsman wanted “desperately to be liked but does not know the best way go about it”.
Strauss made the comments in the recently published ‘Andrew Strauss: Winning the Ashes Down Under’, his account of England’s 3-1 series victory in Australia concluded in January.
South Africa born and raised Pietersen scored 227 in Adelaide. But that was his first hundred in 18 Tests – a poor return for a batsman of his talent and one tipped by some pundits for the status of an all-time cricket great.
Pietersen is set to feature in the first Test against Sri Lanka starting on Thursday and Strauss, during a news conference at Cardiff’s Sophia Gardens ground, said he and his predecessor as England captain were getting along just fine.
“Kevin and I have spoken about a number of things a few days ago,” Strauss said. “The point I was trying to make was that everything KP does is analysed to the nth degree.
“The perception of him outside the dressing room is often very different to the perception of him inside the dressing room. He’s been a massive part of our success over last five or six years and I have no doubt whatsoever he will continue to be so for years to come.”
Pietersen has had a lacklustre start to the county season but opening batsman Strauss backed his big-match temperament to shine through in an English season that features three Tests against Sri Lanka and four against India.
“He just seems in a really good place mentally. He’s determined to enjoy his cricket. He’s always been very driven and I don’t think anything’s changed in that respect.
“I like the fact that when he has that relaxed air about him plus that inner drive, that’s a good recipe for him to have a really good summer.” Cricket365