London:Two former England captains David Gower and Alec Stewart have backed incumbent Kevin Pietersen in his power struggle with coach Peter Moores, saying the South Africa-born dashing batsman is an indispensable figure in the country's cricket.
Miffed at the exclusion of former captain Michael Vaughan for this month's West Indies tour, Pietersen has given the ultimatum to England and Wales Cricket Board to choose between him and Moores.
Gower believes Pietersen would come out on top if the power-brokers are forced to choose between the pair.
"It's a bit of a mess but I've got a feeling Kevin Pietersen will get his way," he told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme.
"Hugh Morris (ECB managing director) has an interesting task on his hands to mediate between the two if he can. I think they are going to have to go with their captain because he is a mightily important figure in what happens this year and over the next few years. He is a fantastic player, and he has the chance to be a good captain. He is still learning that trade, as we know - he's far from being a great captain yet. I think they are going to have to back their captain."
Stewart believes a fractious relationship could seriously damage the team and said Moores will have to find out a way to work with Pietersen.
"Pietersen is a strong individual who likes to lead from the front and I have no problem with this. Moores must strike a happy medium as to who runs things where and when," Stewart said
"It is vital that a healthy working relationship between these two is in place even if socially they don't mix - and a united front is paramount so that there is no chance of a split within the camp."