Mike Gatting: 'England need to take early initiative'

Gatting: 'England need to take early initiative'
© PA Photos
Former England captain Mike Gatting believes that Alastair Cook's side need to take advantage of the unsettled nature of the Australian team by winning the first Test at Trent Bridge.

Former England captain Mike Gatting believes that the Three Lions need to seize the initiative and take control of the Ashes before Australia can regroup.

The Baggy Greens' preparation for the five-match Test series has been disrupted by the sacking of coach Mickey Arthur and an injury to captain Michael Clarke.

However, the Australians have since appointed Darren Lehmann as coach to lead them through the Ashes series.

Gatting told Sky Sports News: "England have got a settled side, even though they will have to slot Kevin Pietersen back in after injury, so they will want the series to start as quickly as possible.

"Every day Australia drag themselves together, though, the more difficult it will be, so if England can win the first Test that could be really crucial and help us get on top and stay on top."

The first Test begins on July 10 at Trent Bridge.

England selector Ashely Giles watches a net session on February 25, 2011
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