Strauss won't fret over 'Fred' and KP

Andrew Strauss insists injuries to star players Flintoff and Pietersen are not casting a shadow over the side's preparations for the T20 WC and the Ashes.

updated: May 23, 2009 09:11 IST
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England captain Andrew Strauss insists injuries to star players Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen are not casting a shadow over the side's preparations for the World Twenty20 and the Ashes.

All-rounder Flintoff suffered a knee injury playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is doubtful for the hosts' World Twenty20 opener against the Netherlands at Lord's on June 5.

Star batsman Pietersen, who played in both of England's Tests in their recent 2-0 win over the West Indies, has been ruled out of the ongoing three-match one-day series against the same opponents with an Achilles injury.

Thursday's first match in the one-day campaign at Headingley was washed out without a ball being bowled but Flintoff and Pietersen's absence could count against England in the second one-day international at Bristol on Sunday.

"It's not an ideal situation, but any time you get injuries is not an ideal situation," said Strauss. "It's so hard to second guess whether Fred (Flintoff) would have been injured anyway, you just don't know.

"Thankfully there is still plenty of time before the Ashes and I think we fully expect KP (Pietersen) to be ready in 10 days or so - there's no need to panic just yet injury-wise, it's something we can manage."

England would rather that Pietersen, who did not make a major score in the Test rout of the West Indies, and Flintoff, whose absence has been covered by international novices Graham Onions and Tim Bresnan, were on the field.

But Strauss said: "I don't think the fact they are not playing right now is a cause for concern.

"The guys who came in and played in the two match series played well and that's encouraging rather than something to be concerned about."

Opening batsman Strauss, who opted out of the World Twenty20 because he felt he wasn't good enough in that form of the game, added: "The T20 is not something I'm involved with, but there are quite a few of the Ashes squad involved in that and if we can get more wins under the belt that will really help us."

England beat the West Indies 3-2 in their one-day series in the Caribbean and Strauss is aiming for similar success in this campaign.

His Middlesex colleague Eoin Morgan, the former Ireland batsman, could benefit from Pietersen's absence by making his England debut at Bristol, especially as he has also been selected for the Twenty20 squad.

"We gained some momentum in one-day cricket in the West Indies," Strauss said. "We were a little bit Jekyll and Hyde, up and down, but we came through and won the series and we need two more matches to develop something for the one-day squad.

"Then it goes to the T20 with different players involved again so you need to compartmentalise that and Eoin Morgan is in the squad so of course there is a chance (he'll play)."