Graham Thorpe

Enjoy 6-pint punditry from England’s nuggety middle order batsman as he shares his unbridled expertise in cricketing clichés

I’ve been a big fan of Kent’s James Tredwell for many years. I think he’s got class and he knows his own game inside-out, for sure. He’s certainly made a name for himself in the warm up match against Bangladesh A, no doubt about it. There’s no question this guy’s got all the attributes to take his game to the next level, without doubt. With England resting senior players it’s a good opportunity for the next generation to put their hands up and make a name for themselves – that’s for certain. And Tredders has done just that – fair play to him. Make no bones about it, what counts for any bowler is wickets – pure and simple. At the end of the day, you have to deliver the goods, it’s as simple as that. But can Tredwell make the step and deliver consistently at international level? At this level you have to have good character and mental toughness – is Tredwell tough enough? Only time will tell, but I would worry he may not be up to the job. It’s all too easy to get found out at test level and many players fail to make the adjustment – it’s dog-eat-dog, for sure. There’s no hiding place in international cricket – you mark my words. I’m telling you, it’s no place for the weak – that’s for certain. What I’m saying is that pressure plays a massive part – and the only way to combat pressure is with character, pure and simple. For me, there’s still a question mark hanging over Tredwell as I don’t believe he has the attributes to make it in tests. That’s what I think, anyway. In my opinion, he’s not ready, simple as that. He needs a couple more seasons in county cricket, for sure.

For my money, Steven Finn is the best young quick I’ve seen for years – and that’s a fact. The Middlesex paceman is the most exciting prospect on the circuit, make no mistake. I’m telling you, this guy could go all the way – he’s that good. Finny has serious talent and bags of character, that’s for certain – no doubt about it. With his height, pace and hostility, he could trouble the best in the game – and I’m not lying when I say that. Straight up, this young player is going places, without a shadow of a doubt. He’s got it all – pace, height, bounce – and is a terrific prospect, for definite. Honestly, it bears repeating – he’s seriously good, and seriously quick, for certain. But can he handle pressure? I’ve got my doubts – that’s for definite. From what I’ve seen of him I don’t think he can – simple as that. Pressure is such a big part of the modern game, make no mistake, and if you can’t take the pressure, you’re finished – it’s as simple as that. What I’m saying is, in such a pressure cooker environment, there’s no place to hide, make no mistake. Oh, hi Steven – didn’t see you there. No, what I was saying was that I’m a massive fan of yours – seriously. No, look, I didn’t say you were weak, honestly. I’ll buy you a beer, mate, what you having? No hard feelings, mate, seriously….nah, nah, nah, mate, I wasn’t questioning your temperament, honest. What I meant was that SOME players – not you – may find the mental side tougher in test cricket. No, no, I don’t think you’re a pussy at all, no way. Look, I’ll get you a drink. Yeah, you do, look, I’ll get you a Stella. No hard feelings, eh? I reckon you’ve got a great future in the game, mate, no doubt about it. For sure, your physical presence can intimidate international batsmen, no question of a doubt. I’m intimidated, that’s for sure. Are you leaving? Which way are you headed? Don’t mind if I tag along for a bit? Listen, as I said, right, no hard feelings. Put it there, mate….OK, I totally understand you don’t want to shake my hand.  Completely respect you for that, mate. Seriously. Fair play to you. To be honest with you, I wouldn’t shake my hand either. Look – cards on the table, I honestly think you’ll be a great addition to the England squad, straight up. You seriously got all the attributes to make it at test level, that’s for sure, mate. All I would say about your game, however [DOOF!!!]

Urrrgggghhh….

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