Gooch believes England can win World Cup

Gooch believes England can win World Cup

England batting coach Graham Gooch believes the current England World Cup side has the ability to go all the way and win the 2011 ICC World Cup after scraping through to the quarter-final stages.

Qualification to the knock out phase looked under serious threat after losing to cricket minnows Ireland and Bangladesh in the Group stage, but England came through a must-win final game against West Indies to earn a place in the last eight.

Gooch is the only player to feature in all three of England’s World Cup final appearances and was unfortunate to finish on the losing side on each occasion in 1979, 1987 and 1992, but he is convinced the current squad can go one better this year.

"We know we can improve. We know we have better cricket within our team," Gooch told Sky Sports News. "Winning the World Cup didn't happen for me, and I hope that this team have got it within them to win the World Cup - I'm convinced they have.

"They have come through this first stage of the competition, they have shown their fighting qualities, they have shown their resilience. I think we can get better, if we do, we have got as good a chance as anyone else."

The ICC World Cup quarter-final line up was finalized after India’s 80-run victory against West Indies on Sunday, the result meant England finished third in Group B and will face Group A runners-up Sri Lanka in their own back yard in Colombo on Saturday.

England last played in Colombo in 2007 when they shared honours in two floodlit games as part of a five-match one-day series that the tourists won 3-2. Sri Lanka have been beaten just once at this World Cup when losing by 11 runs to Group A winners Pakistan and they go into Saturday’s game as big favourites.

Gooch is confident that England will step up their performances as the opposition gets stronger: "They are a top team, a good unit with world-class players and lots of experience," Gooch said of Kumar Sangakkara's men.

"But that is one of the beauties of playing the game - you look forward to those challenges, you look forward to coming up against those players."

ICC WORLD CUP QUARTER-FINAL MATCHES
23 Mar PAKISTAN v WEST INDIES
24 Mar AUSTRALIA v INDIA
25 Mar NEW ZEALAND v SOUTH AFRICA
26 Mar SRI LANKA v ENGLAND
 
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