Australia coach Mickey Arthur has backed England's handling of Kevin Pietersen's one-day retirement but believes they will miss the explosive batsman.
Arthur admits his side had spent plenty of time working on their strategy for Pietersen ahead of the five-match NatWest Series and was surprised to see the 31-year-old end his limited-overs career.
Pietersen, who cited the punishing workload on those who compete in all three forms of the game, had wanted to remain a part of the Twenty20 set-up but England enforced an in-house rule that means contracted players must be available for both shorter formats or neither.
The result was a retirement that left neither party satisfied.
Arthur, though, is supportive of England's stance.
"I thought that situation was very interesting. We'd done a lot of homework on Kevin Pietersen and were expecting him to play," he said.
"I'm not privy to what has gone on but I think the way England handled that was pretty good. They sent out a clear message that you must be available for both formats if you want to play one.
"That's their policy and they've sent out a clear, hard message. Hats off to them for that decision."
Asked if the hard-line position was a benefit to his side, Arthur added: "Well, he's one hell of a player, I know that much.
"It doesn't make it easy because Ian Bell has stepped up and we'll still have to play well, but Pietersen is a world-class player."
There has been some scepticism over the forthcoming series, sandwiched into an already busy summer on a non-Ashes year.
With the next two Test series between the old rivals coming back to back in 2013 and 2013/14, as well as the prospect of additional one-day matches there is the possibility of overkill in one of the sport's most iconic fixtures.
But Arthur does not feel the number of matches is at saturation point.
"Every time Australia and England play it is special," he said.
"There are no qualms from me. This allows us time to come to England, give guys like Pat Cummins and James Pattinson opportunities here, which is important with the amount of cricket we'll be playing in England over the next year or so.
"There are no complaints from us, because it's always special."
Australia saw their second match on tour, Saturday's RSA Challenge against Ireland, washed out after just 10.4 overs and have just one more game, against Essex on Tuesday, prior to the first ODI.
Arthur has plenty of options, having sent out two different pace attacks in their first two fixtures.
Mitchell Johnson, Clint McKay and Pattinson played against Leicestershire, with Brett Lee, Cummins and Ben Hilfenhaus on duty in Belfast.
"We've got options available to us but I think we have to give some serious consideration to putting out a team against Essex that we think might play the first ODI," he said.
"It's an interesting decision but we'll try to strike the perfect balance."