Strauss warns England not to take `dressing-room harmony` for granted despite Pietersen`s return
London: Former England captain Andrew Strauss has warned England not to be complacent for the Ashes and take their `dressing-room harmony` for granted despite the return of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
According to the Mirror, Strauss is aware of how fragile team unity can be given that he was England captain last summer when texts of Pietersen, who completes his recovery from a knee injury suffered during the winter tour of New Zealand, to South Africa n players sparked an enforced dressing room exile.
Although the report said that it would be easy for England to look on smugly at the problems surrounding Australia ahead of the Ashes, with a sacked coach and a divided squad, Strauss, however, cautioned that in his experience, if the team environment is not right, it would come out at some point, usually under the greatest pressure.
Stating that England should never just assume that everything is okay, Strauss, however, said that he is confident that Pietersen is working hard to make sure that he does not ruffle too many feathers when he comes back in.
Strauss further said that the dressing room environment should always be stable, with everyone having a common cause and a purpose, adding that he hoped that the both the team management as well as Pietersen have learned from their mistakes.
Admitting that he and former coach Andy Flower could have handled things differently during last year`s fiasco, Strauss advised current skipper Alastair Cook to give the Surrey batsman more leeway to express himself as the fact remains that Pietersen is a special player and feels that he should be treated as such.
Hoping that England can have the benefit of Pietersen`s runs for a long time, Strauss further said that the one size-fits-all style of management would never work with Pietersen, although he added that Pietersen may have learnt important lessons about dealing with his frustration better than before.
According to Strauss, a cricket team is always made up of eleven different individuals and it is necessary to give them enough flexibility to be themselves.
Pietersen starts again with the Twenty20 team on Thursday, before joining in with the senior players against Essex on Sunday as they ramp up their Ashes preparation, the report added.
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