Anderson: Players remain behind Strauss

Andrew Strauss' England will instinctively abide by his decisions on and off the field - and if Kevin Pietersen begs to differ, it will be no-contest who has the support of the dressing room.


James Anderson made that much clear, as he voiced his hopes that Strauss continues his Test captaincy tenure for years to come. The England fast bowler depicted the stand-off which has left Pietersen out in the cold, as primarily a breakdown in the relationship between the captain and the South Africa-born batsman.

"Straussy has got so much respect as a captain and a leader," said Anderson. "We very much respect his decisions - and we will back him to the hilt with whatever he and the ECB decide."

Coach Andy Flower, and Strauss, have both stressed recently that other broader issues are at play - namely the erosion of trust and respect between Pietersen and his England and Wales Cricket Board employers.

But Anderson is happy to speak for the rank and file in an England team - knocked off the top of the Test rankings by South Africa at Lord's - when he promises they will not try to stand in the way of a Pietersen return - if the captain tells them that is what will happen.

Pietersen was dropped for the Lord's Test, after failing initially to apologise for and then to divulge the detail of texts he sent to opposition players during the previous draw at Headingley.

The ECB are still trying to discover whether reports of derogatory references in the messages, to Strauss in particular, are true.

Whether they are or not, it seems Pietersen - predictably left out of England's ICC World Twenty20 squad - will have to make them available to his employers before they will consider picking the 32-year-old again.

"The biggest thing is Straussy's relationship with him," added Anderson. "That seems to have been what has come under fire in recent weeks, as well as the ECB.

"I think it is their job to sort that out. As players, we have got to take a backseat and let all that happen."

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