Strauss to keep away from KP

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ANDREW Strauss will come to terms with England’s Investec series defeat against South Africa by spending time with his family - not Kevin Pietersen. Strauss was unable last 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 to try to help them back to the top.

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 for the Lord’s Test over his text message controversy.

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

Pietersen, thought unlikely to in England’s ICC World Twenty20 squad this morning in the current circumstances, 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.”

Back on the field, Strauss admitted last night to being “bitterly disappointed” by the outcome, but he was heartened by the performances of young Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow who scored 95 in the first innings and 54 in the second. “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.”