Graham Thorpe

England’s nuggety middle order batsman shares his unbridled expertise in cricketing clichés

If I’m being honest with you, England haven’t performed well enough in all areas in the recent ODI series against Australia – and that’s the truth, simple as that. In my opinion they let the game drift during the middle overs and that’s just not good enough, in my opinion. In a nutshell the batsmen just didn’t do the business. My view, for what it’s worth, is that the batsmen need to initiate force during those overs and make something happen – that’s the only way they’ll make anything happen in my opinion. What I’m saying is that they go into their shells when they should be expressing themselves. They need to leave their mark on the game for sure – that’s what I’m talking about. The selectors should call up Napier, Keysy and the Trottster – that’s what they should do. These guys have attitude, I’m telling you. Plus they give you options, there’s no doubting that whatsoever.

Bowling-wise, they made a howler in dropping Rashid, that’s for certain. The lad was bowling great, plus he made vital runs down the order – you can’t put a price on that. You can’t expect to win games like that. There’s no rhyme or reason to it and it can’t have done the poor lad’s confidence any good, that’s for definite. When the selectors eventually picked him again he was useless. I think he should be dropped for his own good – that’s my opinion – for what it’s worth, anyway. My view is that he needs a spell in county cricket getting a few more overs under the belt – make no mistake about it, that’s what he needs for sure. What I also reckon is that he needs to work on remodelling that action too, no question. The aussies have found him out and he needs to go back into his shell and re-learn his craft from the ground up – I’m telling you, it’s not easy. That’s my opinion, anyway.

The way I see it, to become a more successful one-day unit, England need to do 5 important things:

1) Create Pressure – they need to show more energy and intensity in their game to let the opposition know they mean business – that’s what I’m talking about.

2) Build Momentum – it is vital not to let the momentum slip, as the opposition will capitalize, no doubt about it.

3) Get In Their Spaces – they’ve got to work on shaking the opposition out of their comfort zones, that’s for sure.

4) Attitude – I’m always talking about the need for good attitude in cricket. Every top cricketer needs the right attitude and to show good aggression, I’m telling you.

5) Re-discover The Winning Habit – winning becomes a habit and England have got to get back into that habit soon, there’s no question about it.

In my opinion, the guys have got the rest of the series to re-group and re-focus and try and win the last 3 games – if they do that they can regain some self-respect and carry the winning feeling through to South Africa later this year, that’s for certain. My view is that if they follow the 5 rules I’ve highlighted above, there’s no reason why they can’t get back into the winning habit – and that’s a fact, I’m telling you. This England unit has the ability to turn things around, no doubt about it, although the middle of a series is not the place to be doing it, that’s for sure. Especially once the series is lost. Their best bet is to re-group at the end of the series, that’s my recommendation. Then they can put these ideas into practice in practice – away from the pressures of international cricket, that’s the point that I’m making. My money’s on the lads getting back into the winning habit in the ICC Champions Trophy later this year – I’m telling you they’ll come back stronger, no doubt about it.

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