Players will back Strauss - Anderson

  • Last Updated: August 22 2012, 0:18 BST

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: Backing Strauss

James Anderson has 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.

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, who were 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.

"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."

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 today 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."

Come what may, Anderson is hoping above all that suggestions in some quarters that Strauss may not be around to lead England much longer prove wide of the mark.

"Straussy has been pivotal in everything we have achieved," he said.

"He is a huge part of our team, and bigger than people realised.

"As players, I can speak for everyone and say we hope he carries on for a few more years yet.

"When Straussy eventually decides to give up the captaincy it will be a big turning point for us, because he has been such a pivotal part of us becoming number one in the world.

"When he and Andy took over in 2009 they were huge in the fact we shifted the way we play cricket and standards we set."

Anderson has not sensed, in the England dressing room, that Strauss is about to call time on his tenure.

"I don't think he is considering it, the way he was this week," he said.

"It was a difficult week; it was his 100th Test match, and you could see how much he still loved being with the guys and out there.

"Now we have lost number one spot, I am sure he is very hungry to get us back there.

"We got to number one in the world with this team, and Straussy leading this team. I don't see why we can't do it again."

England's leading pace bowler is prepared to take his share of the responsibility for their inability to contain South Africa, and for their moderate results since going to the top of the rankings for the first time a year ago.

"It was a huge wake-up call for this bowing attack," he said of the Investec series, which ended 2-0 to the tourists.

"Another thing that can detract from your performance when you get to number one is you can start believing your own hype.

"When people say you are a great bowling attack, you can start believing that.

"Maybe we have got a long way to go. We have been truly outbowled, and it shows we have got a lot of work to do.

"It is disappointing not to be number one in the world. But we have got to try and get our heads around it and look forward to thinking how we are going to get it back.

"Perhaps we have let our standards slip, as Straussy said after the game."

Anderson is convinced, though, that England have it in them - with or without Pietersen - to reclaim that number one status.

"We have seen we have talented guys coming through," he said.

"If he doesn't play Test cricket against it would be a huge loss, because he is such a devastating player, but I don't see why we can't.

"We have enough talent there to get back to number one."

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