England head coach Andy Flower insists that Test captain Andrew Strauss is still the right man to lead the side.
But Flower also acknowledged that the 35-year-old opening batsman, who
played in his 100th Test at Lord's,
is tired and requires time to recover after the
series defeat to South Africa.
"The last couple of weeks have been particularly draining on him," Flower told BBC Sport.
England head coach
“This [Pietersen] issue has certainly not helped and it's been a very unwelcome distraction”
"But he will re-energise. He can certainly take the Test team forward."
Strauss scored a century on Test debut
against West Indies at Lord's in 2004
assumed captaincy of the side
in January 2009 after
Kevin Pietersen resigned.
He has formed a strong bond with Flower and the duo have overseen a successful period for England, including
two Ashes victories
in 2009 and 2010/11 and climbing to the
top of the Test world rankings.
However, Test series
defeats against Pakistan
and South Africa within the last six months have led to Strauss's side relinquishing their status as the top-ranked Test side in the world.
Strauss has also had to contend with questions about middle-order batsman Pietersen, whose relationship with the England hierarchy
degenerated during the recent South Africa series
to such an extent that he was
dropped for the final Test.
Strauss: England's Test captain
- Appointed captain January 2009
- Loses first test series in West Indies
- Wins 2009 Ashes series 2-1
- Rested for a 2010 tour to Bangladesh
- Retains the Ashes with 3-1 win Down Under in 2010/11
- England win four-Test series at home to India 4-0 in 2011 to top world Test rankings
- Loses whitewash series in Dubai against Pakistan
- Loses 2012 home series to South Africa to lose status as best Test side in the world
For Flower, the strains of trying the manage the Pietersen affair have had a negative impact on his captain.
"I think the last couple of weeks have been particularly draining on him," Flower admitted.
"This [Pietersen] issue has certainly not helped and it's been a very unwelcome distraction during a very high-profile and brilliant Test series."
However, England's Zimbabwe-born team director maintained that the experienced Strauss remains the right man to spearhead the England side when they travel to the subcontinent to face India in four Test matches in November and December.
"He's tired after a hard-fought series," Flower said. "He's taking a little quiet time with his family, which I'm very glad he's doing.
"But he will re-energise. He's a strong bloke and he will be back, feeling fresh.
"We know he's an excellent leader and he can certainly take the Test team forward."