England not strong without Kevin Pietersen - Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke comments on Kevin Pietersen's controversy.
World Cup winning Australia's captain Michael Clarke has commented that England without Kevin Pietersen (KP) won't trouble the Australian side in the coming Ashes series. He added saying that KP is in his best form and decision to drop him is England's loss. Clarke sympathised with KP by saying that he feels for him and would love to see him back in the national squad.
Clarke's men are travelling to West Indies for two-Test series before they finally reach England for the five-Test Ashes series.
"There's probably two sides to me, there's the personal side where I feel for KP because I get on well with him," Clarke said. "I'd love to see him back playing cricket for England. His form has been outstanding. He's still a great player. I know he wants to play. I feel for him on that side.
"On the other side, we go there soon to play against England. Any team without Kevin Pietersen in it, I don't think is as strong. I think his statistics speaks for themselves. He's been a wonderful player over a long period of time. He's still in career-best form," Clarke added as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
However, the whole issue around England team won't matter and Australia would want to stay focused. England recently visited West Indies where they drew 1-1 and now they'll be playing against the New Zealand before the Ashes.
The right-hand batsman said that West Indies team is a revamped side after defending the series against England and they are going to be tough.
"The last thing we can afford to do as an Australian team is get caught up in what's happening in England, or West Indies or anywhere else," Clarke said. "I think it's really important we stay focused and make sure we're as well prepared as we can be. Playing away from home is your greatest challenge as an international sporting team. England will be tough.
"When we get there, no matter what XI players they put on the field, they're going to be really tough. They know their conditions really well, as do West Indies. I think it's important we stay really focused on this West Indies tour and try to have some success there.
"They've got a really good bowling attack. I think they swung the ball well, whether that was with the brand new ball or reverse swing. They've got some handy spinners as well. The conditions we're about to face will be very similar to the subcontinent. The wickets will be slow and low and will spin. They're coming off some form against England."
Australians are the current Ashes champions, they thrashed England last time by 5-0 in Australia in 2013-14. Both Australia and England will be playing Test series before they clash for the precious urn. The five-time World champions are in form and they'll be a tough nut to crack for the England's side.