Gough backs Pietersen to fire
Darren Gough insists Kevin Pietersen is “in the right frame mentally” to help England to Ashes glory.
Pietersen has struggled by his own high standards since his reign as captain ended two winters ago.
But former England paceman Gough is convinced he is ready to make Australia suffer after speaking with the 30-year-old batsman.
Gough said: “Kevin is in the right frame of mind for the Ashes.
“I’ve spoken to him and he is definitely in the right frame mentally.
“He would have liked a few more runs but as soon as the Test starts, it’s a different ball game.
“I’ve just a feeling that he is going to get a hundred in the first Test.”
Gough added: “Like anyone, you are going to have ups and downs in your career and that has been the case with Kevin.
“A lot of things have also changed for Kevin Pietersen. He became wanted everywhere he went.
“He got married, he has had children. Circumstances change and it takes some time to adjust to that.
“But there is no doubt that England have got the best to come of Kevin Pietersen yet.
“I think he will be a vital player for England for many years.”
Gough also rubbished the theory that Pietersen is vulnerable against left-arm spin.
Gough believes Australia have picked Xavier Doherty as the front-line spinner for the opening Test in Brisbane next week to try and expose Pietersen.
The former Yorkshire captain said: “They’ve gone for him purely because of the Kevin Pietersen factor.
“They believe he has got a weakness against left arm spin.
“I’ve looked at his record and Kevin still averages 40 against left arm spin when they’ve got him out in Tests.
“If he averages 40 in the series, England will do well.”