London: England captain Nasser Hussain admitted on Wednesday that he was disappointed by key fast bowler Darren Gough's announcement that he might not be fit for the first two Tests of the Ashes tour of Australia.
Gough revealed his doubts on Tuesday, saying, "If I miss the first two Tests, but am there for the rest of the winter, I will be happy." But Hussain, speaking at the launch of England's off field clothing for the tour, said, "We are a long way from the first Test. The whole point of the rehabilitation and fitness programmes that people are going through is that they are fit. "There will be a couple of lads in the Academy who will be happy to hear what Darren has said. Maybe he is just being a bit pessimistic after being out for a year." England has five other fast bowlers in their Ashes squad and, in addition, some promising young quicks will be with the Academy squad, which will be based in Adelaide at the same time as England is on tour. Gough has undergone three knee operations in the past seven months since returning from the One-day series in New Zealand. He has not played Test cricket since August 2001 and made only a single first-class appearance for Yorkshire last season. England has not won an Ashes series since 1986-87 and Hussain said his side required a tougher mental attitude if it was to succeed. "We can't go there thinking 'you're so wonderful'. There is no reason why we can't beat Australia if we play the kind of cricket we have played against everyone else for the past two years." England leaves for Australia later this month and plays the first Test in Brisbane from November 7.
Gough admits he is doubtful for the first Ashes Test