England in Pakistan 2005-06 September 17, 2005

Gough: England have 'attack for all conditions'



Darren Gough: "I honestly believe England have got the attack for all conditions now" © AllSport UK Ltd
Darren Gough believes England have the firepower to conquer the world, after their dramatic Ashes victory over Australia this summer. England embark on tours to Pakistan and India this winter, with selectors due to announce the touring squad on Monday.

Gough, who played 58 Tests and 157 one-day internationals for England, believes England now have the capacity to win against any opposition in any conditions following this summer's historic triumph.

"I honestly believe England have got the attack for all conditions now," he said. "The last time we played there [in Pakistan], it was all about mixing it up with slower balls and offcutters; but this England attack do that naturally anyway - I don't think the conditions will faze them."

Earlier today, Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq stated 'the conditions in Pakistan will not suit' England's attack, which Gough disagrees with. "It won't be easy for them and it's a difficult tour, but it won't be beyond them," Gough added. "In Pakistan you tend to get flat wickets and a lot will depend on team spirit away from the cricket, which won't be a problem with this side."

England are poised to name a 16-man Test squad, but with the 12 players who featured in this summer's Ashes series virtually picking themselves, the selectors' main discussions will centre on the back-up players.

Wicketkeeper Geraint Jones still has the support of coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Michael Vaughan despite an inconsistent summer behind the stumps; Nottinghamshire's Chris Read, Essex's James Foster and Matt Prior of Sussex are vying for the back-up spot.

Worcestershire's Gareth Batty and Northamptonshire's Monty Panesar are possible inclusions as reserve spinners, while James Anderson and Chris Tremlett are fighting for inclusion as the back-up seamer. Robert Key, Ed Joyce and Owais Shah will battle it out for inclusion as a spare batsman alongside Paul Collingwood.

The 15-man one-day squad also virtually picks itself having done well during the one-day series against the world champions, although England may choose to include some younger players to give them experience as part of the long-term build-up to the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies.

That could mean Gough being replaced, possibly by Gloucestershire's Jon Lewis, which Gough concedes is a possibility:

"I know they want me around, but the one thing they're going to have to discuss is whether they need to have a look at someone else just in case I'm not around for the 2007 World Cup," he said. "This winter would probably the ideal time to do it and that's the decision they've got to make. Either way it's fine with me as long as the communication is good and they tell me what they're planning."

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