Graham Thorpe

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Blog Posts by Graham Thorpe

  • Morgan will thrive in his latest Test

    Can Eoin Morgan adapt his game to be successful in the longest form of the game? It is the question on everyone's lips, but I believe he can.


    There is no doubting the diminutive batsman's ability, but no one is entirely sure if he can translate his talent on the one-day scene to Test cricket; he knows he has a lot to prove.


    The England selectors should be credited for their bravery in giving Morgan a chance, and the Bangladesh series provides the perfect opportunity to discover how he will approach a patient innings.


    It has been questioned whether the Middlesex man has the aptitude to play a long and considered knock for his side when it really matters, but if he is given a chance to make his debut at his home ground Lord's, I think he will deliver.


    The key aspect of Morgan's game which makes me think he can be a success in Test cricket is his mentality: he has always been the most coolest, most composed man in England's one-day side.


    I am positive that if Morgan can get a

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  • Rest whoever, it is Bangladesh

    A lot has been made of England choosing to give Paul Collingwood and Stuart Broad rests for the home series with Bangladesh, but frankly it is all pretty academic.


    It may sound a tad disparaging, but it isn't: Bangladesh do not have the depth of understanding to be competitive at international level and, while the Tigers have a few talented young players, they should never be a serious challenge for other sides.


    That is not to say that Shakib Al Hasan's side will not prove to be testing opponents in the future, but right now England could play their second XI and still win the series 2-0.


    The wider question at hand is whether on principle England players should be rested at all, and I have mixed views on this issue.


    There is no doubt that given the busy international schedule in the modern era, occasional tinkering does need to be seen as acceptable in order to prevent widespread burnout.


    But, on the other hand, the paying public have a right to watch their heroes turn out

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  • Strauss – England’s forgotten man

    Amid all the furore of England's ICC World Twenty20 victory, it's easy to forget that captain Andrew Strauss has not represented his country since January 17.


    When it was decided that Strauss needed a break from the rigours of international cricket, the Middlesex man must have been at breaking point because it has been some lay-off.


    It was always the case that the England skipper would not be present for England's World Twenty20 campaign or the matches in the Middle East prior to the tournament, and it amounts to quite a considerable stint on the periphery of the side's success.


    I distinctly remember how former captain Nasser Hussain felt when he embarked on leading the team in tandem with Michael Vaughan in different formats of the game, and it was not at all positive.


    Hussain remarked that he no longer believed the dressing room was his after being confined to the background while Vaughan enjoyed success on the one-day scene, and Strauss must be feeling pretty similar right

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  • Ashes win next for the world champions

    Winning the ICC World Twenty20 in the most emphatic fashion will mark the start of a hugely successful 12 months for England, culminating in the Ashes.


    Coach Andy Flower has had a remarkable impact on the side since he replaced Peter Moores last year, and the Zimbabwean deserves a huge amount of credit for the confidence and professionalism he has instilled to the players.


    From the start of the Super Eights it became clear to me that England were a team brimming with confidence, and with the ability and conviction to sweep all aside and win the competition - and so it proved.


    Australia were simply no match for Paul Collingwood's side, and the victory could hardly have been more comprehensive as England became world champions of the game's shortest format at a canter.


    I am confident that England have the nucleus of a side capable of challenging very strongly for the 50-over World Cup in Asia, and becoming the best side in the world at Test level.


    Flower has hinted that key

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  • England to peak in perfect T20 showpiece

    England thoroughly deserve to be in the ICC World Twenty20 final, and it is the perfect showpiece for every neutral with Australia meeting them there in Barbados.


    I stand by my belief that England will win the tournament, and I have always said that they are the dark horses - Australia will be very wary of the threat Paul Collingwood's side possesses.


    Australia have been very clinical in progressing through to the final and their victory over defending champions Pakistan cannot be underestimated, but they do not have the inspiration that their rivals now have within their ranks.


    They might be unbeaten, but Australia have encountered two serious batting slumps - against Bangladesh they were 65 for six, and against Sri Lanka they were languishing at 67 for five before they pulled it round.


    It is one thing to have players who are efficient, ruthless and professional like Michael Clarke's side have in abundance but, unlike with England, they lack the key players to win a match of

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  • England have their name on the trophy

    It is fair to say that some people are getting carried away with England's performances in the ICC World Twenty20, but there is no doubt that they have been the best side in the tournament.


    Australia are the only side who can remotely compete with Paul Collingwood's side for that status, and they have had a few collapses with the bat which undermine their threat.


    The simple fact is that England have been by far the best team in the competition going into the semi-finals, and you would be a very cynical judge to think that they are not going to win it.


    I believe that England have the confidence and the momentum to take their exceptional form into the semi-finals and secure their first major ICC trophy for 35 years.


    The only thing which stands between Andy Flower's hugely talented side and the title is whether they can keep their composure as they go into the final stages of the tournament, but they have shown ample ability to do so thus far.


    The depth of the batting line up is

    Read More »from England have their name on the trophy
  • Pietersen best in the world on his day

    Kevin Pietersen once again showed with his knock against Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20 Super Eights, that when fit and firing he is the best one-day batsman in the world.


    The three best batsmen in the world in one-day cricket at present are Chris Gayle, MS Dhoni and Pietersen and, on his day the Englishman is the best of the trio.


    Pietersen's 52-ball 73 not out was full of purpose and invention, and there were real signs that England's best batsman was back to his best.


    The confidence and swagger which has characterised his play since he roared on to the international scene back in 2004-05 was back for the first time since his Achilles injury, and that is crucial to his play.


    Pietersen has always been a confidence player and he overwhelms opposing bowlers with his unorthodox technique and his huge stride down the track to throw them off their rhythm.


    There were worrying signs in South Africa and Bangladesh after his injury that he lacked that same purpose and attacking

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  • India to win ICC WT20; England dark horses

    Pakistan are the reigning champions of the World Twenty20 which gets underway in the West Indies today, but I believe India will prevail with England dangerous dark horses.


    The experience India have accumulated over the last few years, and the sheer amount of Twenty20 cricket they play should stand them in good stead, and give them the edge when the key moments in the tournament arrive.


    In MS Dhoni, India have an inspirational and hugely popular skipper, and the squad is just brimming with talent, confidence and natural ability: from the guile and pace of Zaheer Khan, to the stunning batting of Yuvraj Singh and Gautam Gambhir.


    I think there is too much pressure on Pakistan's key players, and not quite enough depth in their line-up for them to win this time, but India have more talent in their squad as a whole.


    I am confident that England have what it takes to challenge but, as I outlined in more detail in my previous blog, Andy Flower's side need a dynamic start from Michael

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  • England hopes rest on new opening pair

    The key for me in England ending their 35-year hunt for a major ICC trophy at the ICC World Twenty20 in West Indies is the two batsmen at the top of the order.


    Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb have not played a T20 international between them, but the pair will be largely responsible for England's chances of making a challenge in the tournament.


    It looks an immensely exciting partnership: one which is fresh, vibrant and with the potential to take opposing bowling attacks to the cleaners.


    It is a left-right hand combination, and that is always an important factor for any opening pair as they look to unsettle the bowlers early and stamp their mark on proceedings from the outset.


    Kieswetter and Lumb both have enormous power, and another key for me is that neither player thinks too much and just focuses on hitting the ball cleanly.


    England have had far too many batsmen in the shortest form of the game who look to build an innings and sculpt their shots: that is not an effective

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  • Finn is the next big thing

    Steven Finn is a terrific talent who I believe will make a huge impact in the upcoming season in England and for many years to come.


    It is clear to me that both Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Harmison will not be returning to represent their country, and that leaves the likes of Finn with a tremendous opportunity to establish themselves as the future.


    After working with the Middlesex paceman at close quarters with the England Lions, it is apparent that there are few cricketers who work harder at their game, and I was pleased to see him given his Test debut in Chittagong.


    Finn has genuine, searing pace and the height to extract real bounce out of even the most placid of pitches - there is no doubt in my mind that he will excel this summer in English conditions.


    He is just 20 years old, but he has already acquired a good grasp of his game, and that includes having learnt how to swing the ball at pace.


    I thought he coped admirably in extremely unhelpful conditions in Chittagong with

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