Former England captain David Gower has joined the list of critics who believe that controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen had allowed his ego to come before the needs of the team in England's 5-0 Ashes hammering by Australia.
Pietersen's future in international cricket remains shrouded in doubt, even though he finished the whitewash as England's top scorer, and although team director Andy Flower denied reports that he had issued a 'KP or me' ultimatum, he has not backed the star publicly.
According to News.com.au, although Gower still believes Pietersen could be part of England's future, he however, thinks that the senior batsman let his desire to impose himself on the Australian attack get the better of him too often in the five-Test series.
Gower also feels England was entitled to much more from Pietersen than an approach borne of the reckless attitude 'that is the way he plays', adding that Pietersen did not seem to understand the difference between wanting to establish mental dominance over a bowler and playing stupidly.
Stating that in the first two Tests, Pietersen was a prime candidate to make big scores and turn the series for England, Gower however, said that the batsman's absolute insistence to try to dominate and show his ego at all costs, was misjudged, adding that his egotistical desire to prove himself superior and bat with disdain cost him and the team eventually.
Second highest scorer on the 1990-91 Ashes tour, Gower's laid-back approach encouraged coach Mickey Stewart to call him a 'champagne cricketer' and his fall-out with captain Graham Gooch, now England's batting coach, led to exile from Test cricket for 17 months, the report added.
Watson to be rested for second ODI against England
Meanwhile, Australian all-rounder Shane Watson will reportedly be rested for the second one-day international against England at Brisbane on Jan 17, while pacer James Pattinson and first ODI star Aaron Finch have been released to play for the domestic Melbourne Renegades on Tuesday.
Pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Faulkner, Clint McKay, Nathan Coulter-Nile and batsman Shaun Marsh will travel to Brisbane on Tuesday, while the remainder of the squad, including Pattinson and Finch, will arrive the following day.
According to News.com.au, the national selection panel said that Watson will not be a part of the squad in Brisbane on Friday, but will link up with the team in Sydney ahead of the third one-day match in Sydney on Jan 19.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann said that selectors are looking to give Watson a break, in the same way they have done with Johnson, who missed the opening one-day in Melbourne, while Pattinson and Finch have been released as neither of them have been involved in the Ashes series, for which their lead in the ODIs are not as intense.
Meanwhile, young batsman Ben McDermott, son of former Australian Test paceman and current bowling coach Craig, has earned a late call-up to the Prime Minister's XI squad following an injury to Chris Lynn, the report added.