sport

Saker dismisses KP reports

England bowling coach David Saker has dismissed reports questioning Kevin Pietersen's future and insisted they are "nowhere near the truth".

Saker described Pietersen as a "fantastic player" and saw no reason to think his relationship with team director Andy Flower had changed during the Ashes whitewash.

It was reported that Flower was ready to begin a new era without Pietersen following the 5-0 defeat to Australia, although Flower subsequently denied he had issued a 'him or me' ultimatum to the ECB.

"Kevin has been the same as he has always been," Saker said. "He's a fantastic player and has done some great things but we went through some tough times in the Test series and things come out of that and people want to make up stories and see things that might not be there.

"That's what happens. When you are losing these things come out quite often.

"The relationship between Kevin Pietersen and Andy Flower hasn't changed from where I'm sitting and I'm sure what's being reported and what is out there is nowhere near the truth."

Alastair Cook's future as England captain is in some doubt after a winless tour against Australia prompted him to admit he would consider his position after the ODI series.

Under pressure

Saker believes the players, and management staff, are deservedly under pressure and knows his own job is potentially on the line.

The 47-year-old Australian only signed a new deal, which runs until the end of next year's Ashes, at the start of this tour last October.

"I would love to see out my contract," he said. "With what has happened here there's no doubt there will be some reviews done and some people will probably be put under a lot of pressure. That's the nature of the business.

"We're here to win games of cricket and we haven't been good enough. It's a simple thing.

"People should be accountable for that, players and management. Things will change and we'll fight on, I hope I'll be a part of that."

Saker was unable to find a solution to Steven Finn's bowling action problems out in Australia and the Middlesex paceman returned home early last week.

"We've been trying really hard over the whole time he was here through different things," Saker said.

Mixed bag

"We were getting close at times and at other times we were going backwards.

"He's a fantastic kid and going forward he's going to be a big part of the future of English cricket."

Saker said there was no one problem that was left Finn "not selectable" in the eyes of limited overs coach Ashley Giles.

"It's related to a lot of different things," he said. "I'm sure we'll sort all that out in time. Getting away from the game could be a good thing for him for two or three weeks."

Chris Jordan has made a big impact in the ODI team in the three matches so far and Saker has praised the Sussex paceman.

"He's been excellent," Saker said. "He's been a shining light to see someone do what he's done. He's still young and he's still learning the craft so he's only going to get better.

"He's a fantastic person to work with and he works hard on his skills. In the future he could play both forms of the game."