Arthur - KP a long-term loss
Australia coach plans to follow England 'blueprint' after two defeats
I think England have a blueprint that works here, and it's one we'll probably need to follow in these conditions.
Quotes of the week
England may have won four straight one-day internationals since Kevin Pietersen's shock retirement but Australia coach Mickey Arthur still senses they may soon start to miss him.
Pietersen's absence has so far been an irrelevance, against West Indies and Australia, thanks to the weight of runs from Ian Bell and others.
Bell was given another shot at ODI cricket following Pietersen's exit and has made a resounding success of his promotion back up to the top of the order alongside captain Alastair Cook.
The result has been scores of 126, 53, 41 and 75 - the last two in easy NatWest Series victories over Arthur's Australians - while Cook, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara and Jonathan Trott have also been in fine form.
Pietersen signed off his ODI career with back-to-back match-winning hundreds against Pakistan in February - two innings which, perplexingly, somehow convinced him he had no future in 50-over cricket.
He reportedly intended to give up only ODI cricket, and continue in Twenty20s as well as Tests, but his employers invoked a clause in his contract which spelled out no player can pick and choose limited-overs formats.
Arthur - whose tourists must win at Edgbaston on Wednesday, unless bad weather intervenes, to keep the NatWest Series alive - believes his fellow South African's absence will prove significant at some point.
"Kevin's a world-class player, there's certainly no getting away from that," he said.
"He's been fantastic, so it would have been an interesting selection poser.
"You would say they've gone seemingly well without him, because I don't think they've lost an ODI since he's gone.
"But down the line I think they might feel the weight of that decision, because he is a class act - and he was playing very, very well as well before it ended for him.
"At the moment they're not missing him but down the line, not sure."
Arthur is not above flattery of England in the shape of imitation of their successful formula.
"I think they're playing really well. They're playing a very good brand of cricket," he said.
"I think in English conditions, they've almost gone back to the old sort of format of one-day cricket - three proper Test players at the top of the order, four out-and-out pace bowlers, a really good spinner.
"They're playing with their specialists; they're playing the one-day game with their best players.
"In England, I think that's a message for every other team, bearing in mind we come back here for the Champions Trophy [next year].
"I think England have a blueprint that works here, and it's one we'll probably need to follow in these conditions."
Arthur is confident, though, both that Australia have it in them to battle back from their 2-0 deficit in the NatWest Series - and that wayward pace bowler Mitchell Johnson can improve dramatically on his rusty performance at The Oval.
Johnson, in his first international match for seven months, had to be taken out of the attack yesterday after just two overs with the new ball - and finished with figures of 0-43 in seven.
But Arthur said: "I can't fault Mitch. Ican't fault the way he's trained, his preparation - what he's put in has been outstanding.
"I think we just have to realise it is his first game back, and we have to take that into account.
"I hope Mitch will get better and better, he's still a world-class performer.
"I think he just has to start playing cricket again, he's been off for about eight months now.
"He's just got to get out, get his confidence back.
"He's got to realise he belongs in international cricket again and he'll do that pretty quickly."
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