Gatting hopeful England can 'sneak' an Ashes win - Cricket World TV



Josh Hazlewood celebrates the dismissal of Adam Lyth in the opening Ashes Test in Cardiff
Josh Hazlewood celebrates the dismissal of Adam Lyth in the opening Ashes Test in Cardiff
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former England captain Mike Gatting says he hopes that during the Ashes, England can build on their recent form, and "maybe sneak it by a Test somewhere".

Gatting, who captained England between 1986 and 1988, led England to victory in Australia in 1987, but England now have to bounce back from a 5-0 whitewash in 2013/14.

A 1-1 draw against New Zealand in the first Test series of their summer was followed by some outstanding performances in a 3-2 One-Day International series win.

That was topped off by victory in the one-off Twenty20 International, and this resurgence has given Gatting some hope going into the five-Test series against Australia.

"I think it is going to be a very interesting series this one," he began.

"I think the form the guys showed against New Zealand and the way they played their cricket was fantastic and I think that's given us (as fans) a bit of a boost.

"I hope it's done the same for the players because they really deserve a pat on the back for the way they played the series and the courage, determination and resolve they showed when they had their backs against the wall on one or two occasions.

"It's given people like me a huge amount of hope that we can turn this series round and maybe just sneak it by a Test somewhere."

The series is now underway with England winning the toss and choosing to bat first in Cardiff, venue for the first Test.

When asked to pick his players to watch, Gatting singled out two batsmen as well as lauding the Australian bowling line-up for their skills.

"I can only look really to Joe Root to be perfectly honest. I think he's performed extremely well and Steve Smith is in the form of his life as well, so they would be the two batters I suspect will do well although I have a sneaky suspicion that Mr Cook might have something to say about that.

"I do think on the bowling front the fact that Ryan Harris can't play is a huge boost for England - although he wouldn't have played in all five, just having him to be able to put him in somewhere like Trent Bridge just to do a job his captain would have been quite important.

"Now they've got to rely a bit more heavily on Starc and Johnson and maybe Hazlewood - and Cummins might come into the side as well - and Mitchell Marsh so they've got a choice themselves to make and Nathan Lyon is always going to be there anyway."

Gatting was talking to us at Oakham, where he watched the final of the ECB/ESCA U15 final between Manchester Grammar School and Sherborne School.

As well as being a man who played 79 Tests and 92 One-Day Internationals for his country, Gatting has stayed close to the game since his retirement, and now holds a part-time role with the England and Wales Cricket Board as a Cricket Partnerships Ambassador.

He has also just recently accepted a position on Middlesex CCC's Executive board, replacing Andrew Strauss, who is now England's Director of Cricket.

For now though, he is at Cardiff, as a fan, cheering England on as they look to get one over their biggest rivals.

"All in all, I'm very enthused about it and I shall be going on the train in the morning to Cardiff with my hopes high," he concluded.

© Cricket World 2015