Sydney: England captain Alastair Cook reportedly may have the ultimate say on whether his teammate and controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen remains in the Test side or not.
The post-Ashes scenario in the UK has been dominated by stories of a reopening of a rift between England coach Andy Flower and its highest-profile batsman, with many claiming Flower issued an ultimatum that either Pietersen is stood down or he will quit his post, strong denials from all parties.
According to News.com.au, however, a British report is claiming that the ultimate decision rests not with England`s selectors or board, but its much-maligned captain as the `senior men meet to plan the way forward`.
The report also said that Paul Downton, the incoming managing director of England cricket, is particularly keen for Cook to stamp his mark on the team as they try to recover from the humiliation of an Ashes whitewash, even though Flower remains a hugely influential figure.
There is a perception that Cook`s leadership has been hampered by the fact that he inherited most of this side from his predecessor Andrew Strauss and allowing him to make a call on Pietersen`s future will go a long way to establishing the captain as truly having control of the men under his charge.
Meanwhile, another report said that as Cook and Flower are close and Cook is desperate for the coach to stay, there are unlikely to be many differences in opinions, adding that Pietersen might need the backing of Cook if he is to be selected for future matches.