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Gooch wants World Cup redemption

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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Ian Bell & Graham Gooch

Batting coach Graham Gooch, right, gives Ian Bell a few pointers as England continue their World Cup preparations in Dhaka this afternoon

Graham Gooch hopes England's players can go one step further than he did and bring home a first World Cup.

The legendary batsman took part in three World Cup finals but missed out on each occasion - something which still grates on the former England captain.

In 1979 England were blown away at Lord's by Viv Richards, Collis King and Joel Garner, while eight years later they lost to an unfancied Australia by just seven runs. Gooch's hat-trick of near misses was complete in 1992 by the cornered tigers of Pakistan.

However, his World Cup dream is still alive, albeit vicariously through his role as England batting coach, and he expects the current side to be competing at the business end of the competition.

"I'm confident England are going to go a long way," he told ecb.co.uk.

"I think we have the batting and bowling to succeed. We are the Twenty20 champions, plus we have the skills and variety to go the distance.

"With a full team out we are capable of some very good one-day cricket, which we have shown in the last year."

Much like his batting, Gooch says timing is the key to a successful campaign: the side that hits form during the latter stages of the World Cup will outlast a team that flies out of the traps.

With that in mind, Gooch is unpeturbed by England's below-par performances in the recent one-day series in Australia, preferring to draw a line under that 6-1 defeat.

"The one-day series in Australia didn't go well but I'm not despondent about what happened over there," he said.

Graham Gooch Ravi Bopara

Gooch believes Ravi Bopara and the other England players have what it takes to emulate his achievements and win the World Cup

"It might actually have taken the pressure off us a little bit. A lot of pressure will be on the home sides. When you switch on the TV it is just endless cricket.

"In my experience it's important to peak at the right time in competitions like this. Quite often the team that wins it builds up momentum through the tournament."

In Gooch, England's batsmen have the ideal brain to pick when it comes to scoring runs on the sub-continent. He was the highest run-scorer in the 1987 World Cup, churning out 471 runs, including a wonderful century in the semi-final when England upset favourites India in Bombay.

In that innings Gooch famously employed the sweep to negate India spinners Maninder Singh and Ravi Shastri - a shot England will have to play well to ensure they do not get bogged down during the middle overs.

But before Gooch imparts his wisdom, he feels it is important for the batsmen to acclimatise having spent so long in Australia.

"It's been great so far," he said. "We've only been here a couple of days so I have been preparing the players along with Andy Flower and the other coaches. We have been getting used to the conditions.

"As the players have played a lot of cricket recently we are not pushing them too hard. It's important they conserve energy."

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