Sky Sports' Nasser Hussain insists England were right to drop "flawed genius" Kevin Pietersen after the batsman crossed "a bridge too far" with his off-field behaviour this week.
Pietersen was omitted from England's squad for the final Test of their series with South Africa at Lord's after a series of controversial incidents, including allegedly sending derogatory messages about his England teammates to South Africa players.
The batsman had a "change of heart" and emphasised his commitment to all forms of English cricket in a video on Saturday night. But despite his stand down off the pitch and his obvious ability on it, England opted to drop him from the final Test of the series.
Hussain was "a bit surprised" by England's decision but insisted it was the right one and Pietersen only had himself for placing his international career in jeopardy.
"Yes, they could have selected him and England would probably be a stronger side this week if they had but they have got to look at the bigger picture," he told Sky Sports News.
"I was a little bit surprise because not too often does a player get a 149 in a Test match and is left out the next week. The problem for Pietersen is that he has had a horrendous week off the field. I mean really horrendous.
"Some bad decision making started with that press conference after the Test match where he basically blamed English cricket for all his woes and I think English cricket has been pretty good to Kevin Pietersen, Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss in particular.
"There was stuff about texts to opposition members which I don't think went down well with Flower or Strauss and last night - even when he is trying to do right, he can't - he announces that he is coming back for everything on YouTube without telling the English management.
"He has had a shocking week off the field. My gut feeling is that as a management structure you are paid to manage people. They are not all going to be nice guys or easy guys, especially like Pietersen who is an absolute genius - we saw that last week at Headingley.
"But it has been a bridge too far for this English management. They have put up with a lot from Kevin Pietersen but not the antics of the last week."
Hussain admitted we may never know what the content of the controversial text messages were but they had proved to be an unforgivable distraction for the England team, who must win the final Test to avoid losing the series and surrendering their world number one status to South Africa.
"I love the way Kevin Pietersen plays his cricket. England are a worse side without him," Hussain added. "Make no mistake Graeme Smith and South Africa are sitting there right now thinking great there is no Kevin Pietersen this week at Lord's. That makes England a slightly weaker side. But you can't have the focus being about one person all the time; it has to be about the team.
"I am not so bothered about team spirit. Team spirit only happens when you are winning; there are always little ructions when you are losing. What I am worried about is the mental energy of Strauss and Flower in particular. You only have so much mental capacity and off the field to be always dealing with Pietersen issues must in some ways take away from what is going on on the field.
"Kevin has to do some serious thinking off the field and remember how good English cricket has been to him. We need a little bit more consistency from Pietersen. We need him to buy into what everybody else is trying to achieve.
"Kevin Pietersen is not the be all and end all. The game will move on very quickly. But Pietersen has to realise how important playing for England is to him.
"May be this week at Lords' when the other guys are out there giving it their all for England, Kevin Pietersen, in a quiet moment, will sit there thinking what did I do last week and what am I doing not playing in this Test match."