England tour of India - Cricket: Hussain welcomes back strike bowlers

Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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London: England captain Nasser Hussain said on Thursday that fast bowlers Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick are "proven performers" who will have no difficulty slotting back into his One-day squad for the forthcoming series in India and New Zealand.Gough and Caddick, England's new-ball partnership of choice in recent seasons, both missed the pre-Christmas Test series in India where Hussain's side lost a three-match campaign 0-1.Gough was first to declare himself unavailable, saying he needed a rest, while Caddick later withdrew because of security fears in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks in the United States.Ironically, India, where the team is returning for a One-day series, is now considered by some to be a more dangerous place than it was when Caddick made his original decision because of tensions with neighbouring Pakistan."Gough and Caddick are proven performers in whatever cricket they have played for England and just because they are out of the side at the moment or taking time away from the side doesn't downgrade what they have done for England," Hussain, speaking at a Heathrow hotel before the team flew out to India, said."We're too easy to criticise and point fingers Gough and Caddick have been proven players for England and now they're competing with a couple of other lads, that's not a problem. We've got a lot of cricket ahead of us - it's not a problem and it's a good thing."Hussain pointed out that Gough and the New-Zealand born Caddick had been central to England's successful Test series run between 2000-2001."In our most successful period of winning four Test series on the bounce (at home to Zimbabwe and West Indies before away victories in Pakistan and Sri Lanka) they were an integral part of it," He added."Duncan said to me when I first got the captaincy that you need characters in your dressing room and Gough and Caddick are characters, I can tell you that much."Gough has also decided not to go with the side for the Test series in New Zealand next month, but Hussain was adamant that decision would not affect the 31-year-old's England role after that."Darren has made himself unavailable for the Test series in New Zealand, that's not a problem, he's made that decision, and I'm sure in the future when contracts are assembled next summer Darren will be in the shake-up."

Copyright AFP 2001

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