Dravid reckons the Pietersen-Strauss issue will be a burden for England during the Ashes
The Kevin Pietersen-Andrew Strauss saga has only put England under tremendous pressure to win the 2015 Ashes, feels Rahul Dravid.
The former India skipper, who Pietersen called a 'genuine guru' in his autobiography, said the issue will not die down if Alastair Cook & Co fail to regain the urn. "I thought the whole situation looked very strange. He was given an impression that he will be picked if he scored runs in county cricket, and then when he did, he was told he won't be picked. The pressure is definitely on England and Strauss to win The Ashes.
"If they win then there will be no issues, but if they don't, then this (issue) is not going to die down, especially with KP scoring some more tons (in county cricket) by then," Dravid said during Rajasthan Royals' announcement with regards to donating two per cent of their annual profits towards welfare of girls. The franchise has tied up with two NGOs — Educate Girls and Aangan — which will be beneficiaries of this funding.
On Tuesday, Pietersen was summoned for a meeting with Strauss, the new Director of Cricket of the English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) after the right-hander posted his highest first-class score — 355 not out for Surrey in a Division II county match at The Oval on Sunday. Strauss in his press conference said there was 'a trust issue' for not selecting Pietersen for England again.
Surrey's Kevin Pietersen during the County match against Leicestershire at the Oval in London on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
Pietersen in his book, in which he was highly critical of some of his English teammates, credited Dravid for helping him develop the confidence to play spin. The two chatted quite often over email which Pietersen says brings 'a smile to his face' every time he reads it.
'Lack of communication'
Former England women's cricketer Isa Guha, who was also present at yesterday's media conference, said the situation could have been handled better. "I think there was lack of communication. The new ECB chairman (Colin Graves) hinted that KP can come back if he scores runs in county cricket, but I guess he did not have full support of the others in the ECB. This issue was not handled well by the ECB.
"They could have sat down and worked out a way. We also need to look at what the players are saying — whether they want to have KP in the dressing room. The coach will also have an impact because whoever comes in would have definitely wanted KP in the side. I would love to see KP playing for England," said Guha.