Strauss’s 100th Test match, which begins today at Lord’s and represents the climax to a crucial series, has been overshadowed by Pietersen, who was axed on Sunday for sending text messages disparaging the skipper to their South African opponents.
“I feel a little bit let down by Kevin, if I’m honest, but this isn’t an issue between me and Kevin,” said Strauss.
“It’s a broader issue than that and it’s very important that I act in the best interests of the England cricket team. It’s not a personal thing.”
Strauss gave a qualified welcome to Pietersen’s apology to England chiefs yesterday for what he conceded were “provocative” texts to friends in the tourists’ squad.
“It’s a step forward, a step in the right direction,” he added. “But this issue hasn’t just been about the text messages. There’s been a bit more of a broader issue about trust and mutual respect and that issue I’m very keen to resolve. It’s not going to be resolved overnight. I would like Kevin to play for England again but only if we resolve the issues that we need to resolve.”