Strauss puts family before Pietersen

Andrew Strauss, left, has no plans to meet with Kevin Pietersen in the immediate future

Andrew Strauss, left, has no plans to meet with Kevin Pietersen in the immediate future

First published in National Sport © by

Andrew Strauss will come to terms with England's 2-0 Investec series defeat against South Africa by spending time with his family - not Kevin Pietersen.

Strauss was unable on Monday night to unequivocally confirm, moments after losing by 51 runs at Lord's and therefore conceding England's number one Test status to the tourists, that he will definitely be back for more to try to help them back to the top of the world.

But he was more convincing on the issue of Pietersen, who it had been understood might speak to the captain face to face this week after being dropped over his text message controversy. Pietersen can strike any imminent clear-the-air meeting with Strauss out of his diary. "I don't think anything is going to be happening straight away," said the England captain.

"I said before the match, the issues that need to be resolved will take a while to be resolved - and we'll be looking to do that away from the public eye as much as possible in the coming weeks."

South Africa-born Pietersen did not initially apologise for the texts, sent to opposition players during the drawn match at Headingley.

The England and Wales Cricket Board, already at odds with the 32-year-old batsman over an ongoing contract wrangle, have been at pains to discover whether the messages contained any "derogatory" reference either to his captain or team-mates.

Back on the field, Strauss admitted to being "bitterly disappointed" by the outcome, but he was heartened by the performances of Middlesex seamer Steven Finn and young Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow.

The latter was playing only because of Pietersen's controversial absence, but responded with a first-innings 95 and then a half-century second time round as England fell short - despite Matt Prior's resourceful 73 - of a record run chase of 346.

"It was fantastic to see a young guy coming through and showing the true extent of his talent," Strauss said of 22-year-old Bairstow.

"It was a very tough innings, very tough circumstances for him to come into the side firstly - and then to come up against a very good bowling attack and play the way he did was a great testament to his character."

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