London: Andrew Strauss is heartened to hear Kevin Pietersen is providing a reassuring and encouraging presence for the clutch of emerging players in England’s ongoing one-day series squad.
Strauss had his ups and downs with Pietersen, of course, during his time as England captain — most notably when the mercurial batsman’s standoff with the team management came to a head.
It is no surprise to Strauss, however, that England are also able to benefit from the other side of Pietersen’s “complicated character.”
Asked whether he believes the 33-year-old can flourish in his unofficial mentoring role for young players such as his new one-day international opening partner Michael Carberry, all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Jordan or teenage fast bowler Jamie Overton, Strauss said: “Yes, he can.
“He can be really good with young players actually. I think it’s good that he’s playing this one-day series, and him opening the batting in one-day cricket is an interesting and potentially quite explosive option for England to use.
“Given that he’s had injuries, and whatever, it’s quite nice for him to have a good run of cricket. I hope he is playing that mentoring role and playing it well.”
Strauss has seen evidence of Pietersen’s caring and sharing before. “I suppose Kevin is a complicated character,” he added. “But he can be fantastic, really good and engaged in the dressing room and really go out of his way to help other people at times.”