Strauss saw signs of KP-Moores rift in India

The signs of a strained relationship between Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores were evident towards the end of India tour, Andrew Strauss revealed.

updated: January 08, 2009 17:30 IST
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The signs of a strained relationship between the then captain Kevin Pietersen and sacked coach Peter Moores were evident towards the end of the tour of India, England's new skipper Andrew Strauss revealed on Thursday.

"Towards the back end of the India tour, there were signs that Kevin Pietersen and Peter Moores were not getting on well as they possibly could do," Strauss told newsmen here on Thursday evening, in his first interaction after taking over the captaincy reigns.

"When we returned to India to play the two Tests, we were concentrating on the two Test matches in two weeks after the Mumbai terror attacks. There were certain signs that indicated that their relations were strained," he said.

Asked whether he felt that the situation was so bad that both the captain and the coach had to go, Strauss said,"I have never been consulted on the issue. You need a captain and a coach in good working relationship and support each other."

Describing Pietersen as a world class quality player, Strauss said he has already spoken to him twice and he was quite supportive of him.

Rushed into the hot seat at a tumultuous time, Strauss said the timing was not ideal but he was confident and had full backing of his predecessor.

"I recognise this isn't the easiest time to take the role but clearly we have some exciting and world class players in our dressing room and the task ahead is to ensure that we play to the best of our ability in the months and years ahead," Strauss said.

Strauss said he had a chat with Pietersen after the England and Wales Cricket Board asked him to take over the job.

"I had to think about it carefully, the ECB came to me yesterday and asked if I would be interested in the job if KP was not to carry on.

"I believe I can do the job and believe I am the right person to do the job at this stage, it is important there is leadership at the moment. It was important I spoke to KP about the reasons I took the job," Strauss said.

"I've spoken to Kevin a couple of times already. He's in a very tough situation, he's got some stuff to deal with at the moment. I know him well, he's a good mate. He said he will support me and I believe he will," Strauss said.

"Kevin has been very supportive of me so far, it's a tough situation for him and I'm sure he has his own side of the story. I believe he did what he felt was in the best interest of the England team. I've got no problems with him as a player. It is vitally important we can get the best out of him and I believe I can work with him,' Strauss said.

Strauss also expressed his sympathy for Moores.

"Peter Moores put a huge amount of effort and enthusiasm into taking the team forward. No one likes to see things end in this manner. He's shown a lot of integrity and I don't think he deserves to go out in this fashion," Strauss said.

Pietersen's departure from the role he held for five months came against the backdrop of widespread reports that he had lost the support of a divided dressing room, but Strauss denied the rumours.

"My experience of the dressing room is that they have always that got on well and I don't think anything has happened to change that," he said.

"We've got strong characters and you want that. My job is to manage them and make we're sure going in the right direction together. With the characters in the team I believe strongly we can do that. No one wanted to come to this situation but we have to move on from here," he added.