Former England coach suggests Pietersen is a disruptive influence

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Andrew Strauss was forced to come out and publically defend Kevin Pietersen after the batsman attracted criticism from a former England batting coach.

John Buchanan worked closely with the England batsman as they struggled through this summer’s series with Pakistan, and the former Australian head coach believes Pietersen is more trouble than he’s worth.

Buchanan said Pietersen “has the potential to be fragmentary and an individualist”, and Pietersen’s loss of form has plenty suggesting that his starting spot for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane isn’t guaranteed.

England are 2/1 to win the first Test with or without Pietersen, but Andrew Strauss was forced to publically defend his team mate on Tuesday.

“He’s been out of form – that happens to all of us,” said Strauss, “and anyone who has played international cricket for any length of time knows it only takes one innings to get yourself back in form.

“I don’t have any concerns that he’s going to come right, the key is that he hopefully hits that first Test feeling in great form and ready to make his mark on an Ashes series.”

Pietersen is 4/1 to be England’s top series runscorer and Australian bowler Brett Lee believes the Australian assault on Pietersen will backfire.

“There are guys you can stir up and get stuck into and there are others you leave alone,” said Lee.

“Pietersen has controlled aggression and he likes it when someone has a chat to him.

“He takes it personally and it fires him up and he’ll want to score a big hundred.”

It seems that while there are many who question Pietersen’s form, his fellow colleagues have complete faith that he will deliver come the start of the Ashes on November 25th.

England are 2/1 to win the Ashes series. See the full The Ashes betting odds market here.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.