Sidebottom tips England to progress
Ryan Sidebottom has backed his former England colleagues to come good for their crunch clash against West Indies in Chennai tomorrow.
Defeats to Ireland and Bangladesh have left Andrew Strauss’ men clinging to their World Cup dream by the skin of their teeth, but left-arm seamer Sidebottom - who retired from international cricket last September - has faith in the current squad.
“I’m patriotic, I think England can win,” Sidebottom told ecb.co.uk. “Obviously they’ve struggled a little bit this tournament. They’ve not put the whole round package together - they’ve either batted well, not bowled particularly well or vice versa.
“But they are capable - they can beat anyone on their day - they’ve won the Ashes, they’ve won World Cups, they beat Australia 5-0 in a one-day series not so long ago. Not making excuses but it has been a long tour, but it’s a World Cup - if you can’t get up for that, when can you?”
Sidebottom is currently in the West Indies - Barbados to be precise - as he prepares for the upcoming domestic campaign with Yorkshire.
And the 33-year-old believes England’s task will be made more challenging by a West Indies side who responded to defeat at the hands of South Africa in their opening game with three resounding victories.
“It’s going to be tough, West Indies are an emerging side again,” added Sidebottom. “They’re ever improving, I think Ottis Gibson has done a great job with them and they seem a bit more of a team, they’ve got that togetherness so we’ll have to see. Every game has been close with England and I think this might be another one.
“It’s nice any time to be over here, very fortunate to come to the Caribbean and warm weather train. There’s been a lot of this and that - ‘West Indies are going to win’ - but we’ll have to wait and see, I think it’s going to be a good game.”
Sidebottom is preparing to represent his home county for the first time since 2003 after a seven-year spell at Nottinghamshire.
And he admits the opportunity to work with the county’s young stars was a big factor in his decision to make the move back to Headingley Carnegie.
“We’ve seen in Yorkshire the last couple of years alot of young, emerging talent coming through and competing,” he added.
“I think also it helps me feel younger, going out there with young lads it gives me a bit of a kick up the bum.
“I want to do well and I want to do just as well as the young lads and keep up with them whenever possible. I think also with my experience I can help these guys along, maybe for future reasons I’d like to be a bowling coach of some description. And to talk to these lads and if I pass on a little bit of my advice that will be good.
“Yorkshire obviously offered me a longer deal which was one of the reasons and to come home, to where my career took off, it’s an ideal opportunity to come and finish off my career.”