Cook cites last summer`s `Pietersen row` as effect spats can have on team morale

Melbourne: England captain Alistair Cook has admitted that the his team had a `bad experience` last summer with a disruptive Kevin Pietersen, who was banned from the England team last year for sending derogatory texts about then-captain Andrew Strauss to South African opponents.

Cook`s statement comes in the wake of claims from former Australian coach Mickey Arthur that Australia lacks team unity.

Aware of the damage that a divided side can cause, Cook said that he could speak from experience after the disruptions caused by Pietersen in their dressing room last summer, adding that they constantly have to work hard for uniting their side to help their individual and collective games.

Ahead of the second Test at Lord`s starting from Thursday, the report said that the Pietersen melt down and eventual suspension was far worse for England than the revelations allegedly contained in documents that Arthur has filed for unfair dismissal, as it happened in the epicenter of the England cricket team.

According to a report, claims of a rift between Australian captain Michael Clarke and his former deputy Shane Watson and a lack of team unity are considered old news by the players, who have regrouped under new coach Darren Lehmann following his appointment last month.

The report further said that even though Pietersen was an important contributor in England`s 14-run first Test victory at Trent Bridge on Sunday, scoring 64, many of his teammates do not yet like him, although it added that they have to put aside their dislike for the controversial batsman given his importance in the team.

Whatever the issues may have been between Clarke and Watson, neither of them is Pietersen, the report added.


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