A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Andy Flower must truly forgive Kevin Pietersen if England are to regain their world number one Test team ranking, says Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss

Strauss feels it is crucial that Flower and Pietersen leave their differences in the past

Former England Test captain Andrew Strauss believes that the national team’s road to recovery will not be a successful one unless head coach Andy Flower truly forgives batsman Kevin Pietersen for his controversial actions over the summer.

Strauss sees Pietersen as a key member of the England side and believes that the national team will not be able to regain their world number one Test team ranking, which the lost to South Africa over the summer, without him.

The Daily Mail quoted Strauss as saying: “For it (relation with KP) to work out long term, everyone’s genuinely got to want it to work out. Kevin has to want to be part of the team for a long time and the players need to move on from what happened at Headingley and various other things. Even the likes of Andy Flower genuinely has to want to bridge the gap and move forward, if that is everyone’s attitude, then it can work. If it isn’t, then I think there are going to be challenges.”

The former captain also stated that it is vital for there to be a mutual understanding and respect amongst every single member of the England side if they are going to have any chance of beating India at home for the first time in 27 years.

“The question of actually liking each other is not an issue. It’s about respect. Not everyone’s going to be best mates,” Strauss said. “In a dressing-room environment, especially when you’re away from home so much, it becomes your second family.”

Strauss also noted that if relationships within the team start to break down, it would become a serious obstacle in their quest to re-establish themselves as the number one Test team once again.

“If people start doubting that, it becomes a dysfunctional dressing room very quickly,” Strauss added. “I’ve been in good, functional dressing rooms and I’ve been in dysfunctional ones. In a dysfunctional one, it doesn’t matter how good the players are, it never has success consistently.

“People will always be judged on their actions. Over the next few months – for Kevin and the rest of the guys – it will be apparent whether it’s going to work or not.”

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