Gatting urges Eng to be merciless in Sydney

Updated: Dec 30, 2010, 12:57 PM IST

London: England legend Mike Gatting has urged the team to be merciless in their pursuit of long-term success after he passed on a 24-year-old honour to Andrew Strauss.

Gatting had been the last England captain to retain the Ashes on Australian soil until Strauss emulated the feat with victory in the fourth test in Melbourne.

The former batsman believes England can become the dominant force of test cricket if they have the will to capitalise on this Ashes success.

“We’ve got to get used to keeping people down and being ruthless; we haven’t really been that way inclined before,” he said.

“But nothing’s impossible for this team, and if they keep believing and keep working together as a team then they could be one of the teams that could be up there for a long time,” he said.

Gatting led England to a series victory in Australia in 1986/7 to retain the Ashes won in 1985.

“It’s a very proud moment and they should all be very proud. To win the Ashes down there is so difficult...so I hope people don’t try to demean this by saying it wasn’t a very good Australian team - I get a bit fed up when I hear Englishman saying that. You never hear the Australians saying that and I hope people don’t,” he said.

ANI