London: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has said the selectors had to drop Kevin Pietersen for the third Test against South Africa even though the England team will be weakened by his absence.
The England team management was reportedly angry with Pietersen after it emerged that he had sent text messages to members of the South Africa team during the second Test at Headingley.
The text messages, reportedly sent to fast bowler Dale Steyn and wicketkeeper AB de Villiers, contained "less than flattering comments" about Strauss and his teammates.
Pietersen has been axed following a dramatic week and then launched a bizarre late bid to save his place in the squad on Saturday when he posted a video on YouTube in which he said he was willing to be considered for all forms of international cricket having only recently retired from one-day action.
Hussain knows the move is a gamble as England needs desperately to win the Lord`s Test to retain their No.1 status, but he believes Pietersen`s presence was proving too much of a distraction for the rest of the team.
"I was a little bit surprised. It is not often a player gets 149 in a Test match and is left out the next week. English cricket are a worse side without him in the side. Graeme Smith and the rest of the South African team will be sitting there right now and are thinking it is great that Kevin Pietersen is not playing for England," he said.
"No Pietersen does make England a slightly weaker side, but you can`t have this all the time where the focus is on one person when it has to be on the team," he said.
Hussain believes that, coupled with Pietersen`s press conference on Monday when he said it was "tough being me" in the English dressing room, were major factors in him being dropped.
"He`s had a bad week off the field, and some really bad decision-making started with that press conference where he blamed English cricket for all his woes. Then there was the stuff about texts. Even last night he announces coming back without telling England," Hussain said.