Australia have to prove they can walk the walk before they talk the talk, says Mike Gatting

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

Gatting laughed off suggestions that Australia were planning a “backlash”

Former England captain Mike Gatting has called on Australia to prove they can walk the walk before they talk the talk after rumours emerged that Alastair Cook and his men could face a “backlash” when they travel to the Land Down Under in November.

Ever since losing 3-0 in the recent Ashes series, Australia have been gloating how England could never repeat the feat in their own backyard.

“What are they (Australia) going to backlash us (England) with? Have they found another Shane Warne or a Glenn McGrath?” Gatting told BBC Sport. “Yes, the Aussies did improve over the course of the series but you would expect them to improve because Australians are proud cricketers. They had a good bowling attack but sadly their batsmen let them down.

“We had the quality to win the important moments, with the ball or with the bat,” Gatting said of an England side that has now won three successive Ashes series.

“We were quite consistent, but the Australians had inconsistencies throughout. If the two teams are pretty much the same, I wouldn’t expect the result to be any different.”

Gatting was also recently elected as the 179th President of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and he noted that it was an “honour” to “serve as President at the best cricket club in the world”.

“It is an amazing honour to have been asked to serve as president at the best cricket club in the world,” he said.

One of Gatting’s main aims will be to strengthen relations with the local community.

“I grew up not far from Lord’s in Willesden,” he said. “One of my big things will be to get the MCC to really reach out into the local community.

“We have been to communities all round the world, helping out with Afghanistan and Sri Lanka — and doing huge amounts to boost the game in other people’s back yards.

“Sadly we’ve never really looked at our back yard and seen how we can help people in places like Kilburn, Willesden, Islington, Camden, Paddington and Wembley.

“So we’ve appointed a community officer to try to make those links with the local area much stronger. We need to show we are interested in them and care about them.”

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