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Andrew Strauss’s side have seen their faltering campaign in the group stages take a distinct turn for the worse after a shock defeat to Ireland followed a tie with India.
But England‘s highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals, Gough, is adamant that the early stages of the tournament are virtually irrelevant and that Andy Flower’s men should still hit their stride at the perfect time.
We are batting well; you always know you are going to be chasing 300 on an Indian pitch in most games.
“We seemed to be peaking at the right time (before the Ireland defeat) - that match against India was a big, big game for us,” Gough said.
To be chasing 320-odd and go out and almost get it was unbelievable - before the innings you could see us getting out for 180. Gough thinks England only have to start firing on all cylinders from the quarter-finals onwards, and says the onus is on the bowlers to improve and match the form of the batsmen. We just need to get our bowlers firing like our batsmen,” he said.
“We need some good performances from Jimmy Anderson and we’ve also got Broady back. They need to get stronger and a bit fitter after their illnesses in India.”We have to conserve our energy in reaching the last eight through this group stage, which always drags on and on, then give everything in the knockout stages.”
The Yorkshireman has highlighted the tournament’s form sides as his favourites to take the 2011 crown, and does not believe England should be discounted despite their pitiful run in the format Down Under.
“The form teams are India, South Africa and Sri Lanka but it’s not about who’s playing well now - it depends who plays well on the day of the knockout matches. “What happened in the ODI series in Australia won’t worry England; it was an amazing six months, winning the World Twenty20 and The Ashes.

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