For that reason, it's quite plausible that if these Tests were back to back and the third was beginning this week, then Pietersen would not be playing.
As it is, there is currently a time for tempers to cool and deep breaths to be taken, with national selector Geoff Miller having the opportunity to meet with captain Andrew Strauss and team director Andy Flower to find out what relations in the dressing room really are like.
At the same time, the England hierachy will be hoping Pietersen is having a good think about his future, deciding if retirement really would be the right decision for him.
He's always been so bullish about the targets he has set and the legacy he would like to leave that one wonders if he is receiving the best advice.
As lots of us ex-pros know, you are a long time retired and there comes a stage when you would give anything to be back out there playing. If he was to prematurely end his Test career it would be a great shame.
There is, though, some room to manouvere. Central contracts will not be sorted until the end of September, so Pietersen has time to consider his future. The clock is ticking, however, on any potential involvement in
the World Twenty20.
One thing to stress is that the England and Wales Cricket Board will not back down on Pietersen's desire to play Twenty20 internationals but not one-dayers, or give their blessing for him to be available for the entire Indian Premier League.
As for the third Test, it's impossible to know for sure what will happen, but my view is that he will probably be picked. After that, any decisions on Pietersen's future rest entirely with him.
Jonathan Agnew was talking to BBC Sport's Stephan Shemilt.
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