Darren Gough: Ashes won’t be far from thought during World T20 clash
Darren Gough believes England’s T20 World Cup match with Australia is the perfect chance for either country to gain the early upper-hand ahead of the Ashes.
The two rivals clash in Dubai looking to improve their chances of qualifying for the semi-final stage but there are also numerous players in each camp who will fly straight from this tournament to take part in this winter’s five-Test series Down Under.
Former England bowler Gough, who toured Australia twice, believes it will be difficult for the Test players not to have the upcoming series at the back of their mind during Saturday’s game.
“They are the biggest enemy and the biggest competitor you play against so whatever game it is you are thinking, ‘if I do well in this one, it is fresh in their mind next time’,” he told the PA news agency at the launch of Booking.com’s luxury T20 Pavilion at Totteridge and Millhillians Cricket Club.
“As a batter, if you get nought, the next time you go in adds that little bit more pressure. And it is the same for bowlers. If a bowler gets smashed for 50 off his four overs, next time he faces that batter he will be thinking that.”
Gough saw first-hand what momentum can do ahead of an Ashes series back in 2005 when Kevin Pietersen’s fine form against Australia in white-ball matches saw him called into the red-ball side that summer.
Pietersen’s crucial 158 in the last Test at the Oval helped earn a draw which saw England win the series 2-1 and lift the urn for the first time since 1987.
He added: “The momentum we took from them one-dayers where KP smashed them at Bristol was unreal. I remember playing in that game thinking, ‘this guy is ridiculous’.
“We had never had someone like him before, we always had good players and fantastic players but not with that flamboyance and confidence. It rubbed off on everyone else throughout the series and into the Ashes.”
One batter eager to lay down an early marker this weekend will be Australia’s David Warner, who struggled during the last Ashes series in 2019 and averaged 9.50 across 10 innings.
Gough said: “For Warner, because he was so disappointing in the last Ashes – even though it was mainly against Stuart Broad – he will be thinking ‘I am under a bit of pressure and need runs against England’.
“What I find interesting is there has been a lot of criticism of Australian cricket during the last six months but suddenly when England selected their side for the Ashes it changed to criticism of England.
“Yet you know on Saturday if England beat Australia, all the pressure will be back on Australia again.”
Victory for England could see them have one foot in the World Cup last four after winning their opening two matches of the Super 12s in routine fashion.
But there are question marks over the form of captain Eoin Morgan, who has not passed fifty for England in T20Is since August of last year.
However, Gough said: “Eoin has earned the right because of the record England have got with him as captain.
“It is like anything in life. If you are winning and you’re the captain, you’ll get the praise but if you are losing and you’re captain you will get criticism, so enjoy it Eoin because you’re captain and this England team just wins.”
:: Booking.com is the official accommodation booking partner of the ICC T20 World Cup, which runs until 14 November.
David Saker backs England bowlers to make splash at Twenty20 World Cup
He has been working closely with the team over the course of an entertaining back-and-forth series.
Phil Salt grateful for England backing after starring in big win over Pakistan
The opener had scored just 59 runs in his first five innings on tour but blazed 87 not out to guide England to victory over Pakistan on Friday.
Phil Salt powers England to emphatic win over Pakistan as series goes to decider
Opener Salt scored an unbeaten 88 as England won by eight wickets.
Unbeaten Babar Azam gives Pakistan shot at wrapping up England series
Babar held court throughout the 20 overs and guided his team to 169 for six.
Liam Norwell saves Warwickshire as Yorkshire suffer relegation to Division Two
Norwell’s career-best nine wickets for 62 runs sealed a five-run win over Hampshire on a thrilling final day of the season.
DCMS hearing on discrimination in cricket pencilled in for December 13
Azeem Rafiq and Lord Patel are set to be asked to appear.
England captain Jos Buttler ‘learning lots’ despite not playing in Pakistan
Buttler has a calf injury, which has ruled him out of the T20 series so far, but he insisted on travelling and has been observing throughout the trip.
We’re a better team than that – England’s batting disappoints Moeen Ali
The tourists were unable to make 146 in their Twenty20 chase against Pakistan.
Moeen Ali heroics in vain as Pakistan take series lead over England
The tourists failed to chase 146 in Lahore.
Warwickshire up against it to avoid relegation as Yorkshire nervously watch on
The Bears need to beat Hampshire to overhaul Yorkshire.