In the aftermath of a disastrous World Cup in Australia, clamour for fresh blood in both the England one-day and Test teams has been intensifying.
But Darren Gough has dismissed calls to axe James Anderson as ludicrous.
Burnley paceman, Anderson, needs just four wickets to surpass Sir Ian Botham’s England Test record of 383 wickets and should achieve the milestone in the opening match of the three Test series in the West Indies beginning on April 13th - meaning he would do so in his 100th international.
Gough spearhead England’s bowling attack through much of the 1990s, is England’s second highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals with 234, and took 229 wickets in his 58 Test matches, making him England’s ninth most successful wicket-taker.
Gough admits Anderson and his new-ball bowling partner Stuart Broad were way off the mark in Australia but is backing the Lancashire man to bounce back in the Caribbean.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has called for Anderson and Broad to retire from one-day internationals and concentrate on the Test arena but Gough is convinced the pair still have much to offer Peter Moores: “I don’t think it’s down to that missing aggression that Jimmy Anderson needs to get back, I think he is a terrific bowler still for England in all forms of the game,” said Gough, who is taking part in the second Investec Ashes Cycle Challenge to raise funds for the Lord’s Taverners in July.
“He’s been great, and I mean great, for a long time now. In one day cricket he didn’t do well in Australia he’ll be the first to admit that.
“He and Stuart Broad didn’t bowl straight enough with the new ball and didn’t bowl straight enough at the end – simple as that.
“Other teams and the successful bowlers at the World Cup – look at the ones who took the wickets – they bowled at the stumps.
“But he is a terrific performer as is Stuart Broad and I expect them to come back well in the Caribbean. They both bowl well with the new ball, especially Jimmy swinging it.”
l To support Gough’s fundraising efforts visit lordstaverners.org/ashescycle and keep up with the team’s progress by following @LordsTaverners and @Investecwin – to donate text VELO15 £5 or £10 to 70070.