Graham Thorpe

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

The way I see it, England have recently been playing focussed, aggressive cricket – and that’s why they fully deserve a place in the ICC semi-finals, in my opinion. I’m telling you, I reckon those lads have got what it takes to go all the way, make no mistake. They followed the 5 steps on my last column and now they’re reaping the rewards, for sure. That’s what I’m talking about! I’m telling you, if they keep playing this well, they could seriously challenge the best in the world, day in, day out – that’s what I reckon, anyway.

My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that they’ve got to be careful – that’s just my opinion, you can make your own minds up on that one. What I’m saying is they have to watch they don’t go overboard with the confidence levels – that’s what I’m saying, anyway. My view is that England need to consolidate, without a shadow of a doubt – that’s just my view, for what it’s worth. And another thing – they need to maintain their focus and not let the standards slip, that’s for certain. They’ve got to keep up the pressure – that’s what this game’s all about, simple as that. Cricket is a mental game without doubt, and mentally they’ve got to stay on the game – and that’s no lie.

Look at the South Africans – that’s what I’m talking about. Look at how they go about the game. Confident, professional, disciplined – these attributes make them a tough side to beat, home or away, for sure. For sure, they deserve their number 1 status, make no bones about it. No doubt whatsoever. I’m telling you, this is where the game is going, for certain. My view is England could do worse than to model themselves on the South Africans, perhaps by picking more South African players – that’s just my opinion, anyway. At the end of the day, that’s just what I think, as far as I’m concerned anyway.

Listen, right, when it all comes down to it, are England up to the task? Can they beat the best teams in ODI cricket on a regular basis? My money’s on them getting to that level after a few more matches, but they’re certainly moving in the right direction, that’s for sure. The point I’m trying to make is that they need to gel a bit more and find a groove from which they can deliver consistent matchwinning performances – that’s the point I’m trying to get through to you, anyway.

What you’ve got to start getting into your heads is that this is still a relatively inexperienced team, OK? What I’m telling you to understand, right, is that a couple of victories hasn’t suddenly transformed them into Australia or India – am I making sense to you? Are you getting what I’m saying? If you want me to spell it out to you, then what I’m trying to get across is my point that England are still no good, without any doubt whatsoever, OK? They’ve still got some way to go, that’s what you’ve got to remember. You can’t turn round to me and say that they’re the finished article, by any means, because I would be forced to take issue with you on that, no question. You can’t just sit there and turn around and tell me they’re going to win the ICC trophy – you can’t seriously expect me to agree with that, no way. You need a serious reality check if you think that’s got any chance of happening whatsoever, that’s for certain.

Look, I don’t want any trouble, but that Irish guy Eioin…Euoin…Ieuan…Eoghan…Eoin Morgan is the star of England’s batting line-up, make no mistake. What I’m trying to say and what you need to realise is that I’m seriously TELLING you…England have got…England…England, right, I’m telling you… I’m TELLING you… are going… are… going… ah… ahh… uhhhhhh…

ABLLEEEUUUUURRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! AAAGGGHHH!!! ABLOOOORRRRRGGGGHHHHHHH!!!! FTOOF!!! AHURR!! TOOFF!!! BLLLLLEEEEUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! AHEH-AHEH… FTOOFFF!!! BLLLEEEEUUURRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! FTOOOFFFF!!!! Oh no… my shirt… aw God!!!… BLLLLEEEEEEUUUUUUURRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!! ACH! ACH! FTOOFFFF!!!! ACH!! ACH!! FTOO!!!! PAAAAARRRRPPPP!!!!! Shit…

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