Cricket - Gower backs England to bounce back from Ashes debacle

England will put the disappointment of their Ashes humiliation behind them when they face Sri Lanka and India over the course of this summer, according to David Gower.

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Cricket - Gower backs England to bounce back from Ashes debacle
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Alastair Cook is ready to get back into England action after questioning his future as captain

England kick off the two-Test series with Sri Lanka at Lord's on Friday before facing India over five Tests starting next month, and former captain Gower is confident Alistair Cook's side can bounce back from their traumatic tour Down Under.

At the turn of the year, the Three Lions were humbled by a resurgent Australia, who completed a whitewash series victory and regained the Ashes for the first time since 2006-07.

Coupled with defeats in both the one-day international and Twenty20 series, it was a damaging few months Down Under, but Gower does not believe the blows England sustained were fatal. Indeed, the former England captain says recovery will be swift, given the quality of their squad and the identity of the opposition they face this summer.

"If you go back through history, going back to the 80s, we got beaten too often by West Indies," Gower said. "We suffered that but came back and played good cricket against the countries who weren’t quite so strong.

"The truth is that the greater part of the England side who play the first match this summer will have been in Australia. They will still be good players. If they get off to the right sort of start they can still play good cricket.

"What they have to look at, what we have to look at, is the fact that Sri Lanka and India are not Australia. Australia, to give them full credit, played really good cricket in the winter. I don’t think we will be under that sort of pressure again this summer but always with the proviso that nothing comes easily.

"Obviously, couldn’t take anything for granted in the winter and can’t take anything for granted in the summer. There’s no reason at this stage not to be reasonably optimistic. We can have a good summer and rebuild some faith in the game.

"I have said consistently since that winter debacle that it was something of a perfect storm. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. That’s unlikely to happen again."

Gower is backing the Men United v Prostate Cancer campaign and joining an army of supporters fighting against the biggest killer amongst males in the UK.

He said: “The whole message that Prostate Cancer UK is putting across is to be aware of these things - the early signs of possible prostate cancer - almost before they happen and certainly at the earliest possible stage, and to make as many other people as aware, again, before something goes horribly wrong.

"Support for the cause has grown markedly in a relatively short time, but the truth is the more people who are aware the better. So from my point of view just adding to that awareness and helping raise awareness is time well spent. We are here to support both those people who have been through it already and the many who might go through it.”

Men are being asked to sign for Men United by visiting www.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited

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