New England Test captain Andrew Strauss has pledged to restore team unity following Kevin Pietersens resignation and the sacking of coach Peter Moores.
Weve got to get back to playing cricket and winning matches, Strauss said at a news conference at Lords. Strauss is seen as a safe choice amid speculation that the team was split between the captain and the coach. English media had reported that Pietersens resignation was a fall-out of lack support from team mates,especially Andrew Flintoff and Strauss himself.
I dont think the rifts are nearly as bad as people have made them out to be, he said a day after the departures of Pietersen and Moores. Ive got some conversations with some players and Ill happily do that over the next week and move forward. It was clear you need a captain and coach in a good working relationship,that is the crux. Strauss will lead the team on the tour of the West Indies later this month. The ECB is yet to find Mooress replacement.
Strauss admitted there were signs on their tour of India last month that Pietersen and Moores were not getting on. KP is very strong-willed person and I think that was one of his great strengths as England captain, Strauss said. He had a vision of where he felt England needed to go and he backed himself to deliver that. He wasnt worried about upsetting a few people on the way. So in a way,that is a very positive trait to have as a person,but in another way it is going to create confrontations at times and that is the way it has worked out.
I do feel some sympathy for him because I think he felt he was doing what was right, Strauss said. You dont know how many people felt like he did,but that was what his view were…That is Kevin Pietersen as a person and I dont think he should be vilified because of that.
ODI squad to be picked on Friday
However,things may not be easy for Strauss,who has not been part of the one-day squad for more than a year. But he insisted that he would be involved when the selectors meet on Friday to discuss the squad and captain for Englands one-day and Twenty20 games.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that I haven’t been involved in the one-day game for England for the last 12 or 18 months. I have to speak to the selectors,Ive got some views on the one-day set up and so have they so we need to iron that out.