England need 'new' Thorpe says Hussain
by AFP

Ground:Multan Cricket Stadium, Multan
Scorecard:Pakistan v England
Player:N Hussain
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 17th November 2005


Former captain Nasser Hussain said England needed to find someone to fill the role vacated by Graham Thorpe after Pakistan's 22-run first Test win in Multan.


England, needing 198 for victory, were 64 for one but collapsed Wednesday, in the face of some fine leg-spin bowling from Danish Kaneria, to 175 all out.


Hussain led England to a 1-0 Test campaign win on their last tour of Pakistan five years ago.


The three-match series came down to the final Test in Karachi where a typically composed 64 not out from middle-order batsman Thorpe saw England to a target of 176 and a six-wicket success.


And Hussain said England required similar reassurance now.


"What they lacked was a Graham Thorpe-type player, a calming influence to take control, bat sensibly and see them home," he wrote in his column in Thursday's Daily Mail.


"I am not suggesting we should bring Graham out of retirement or even advocating a change to the batting line-up, but someone in the middle-order has to take on the role. Either Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell or Paul Collingwood has to become a 'situation player' and lead them home in in these circumstances."


However, Hussain stressed he did not want to see big-hitting England middle-order duo Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen alter their approach.


"I will not criticise Andrew Flintoff or Kevin Pietersen for the shots that got them out yesterday (Monday).


"At Edgbaston last (northern) summer, when Flintoff won England one of the best Tests of all time, shots that just evaded fielders could easily have led to his downfall. They didn't and he was lauded as a genius. 'Freddie' cannot be castigated for the odd lapse.


"The same goes for Pietersen. He chased a wide one yesterday but was playing as he did when winning the Ashes at The Oval. We cannot thrill to the stroke that defeated the Aussies and expect these guys never to get it wrong. But we need someone with them to rotate the strike and accumulate."


Surrey left-hander Thorpe, 36, retired from Test cricket after being left out of the opening match of the recent Ashes series, which ended in September in a 2-1 victory for England.


In 100 Tests Thorpe scored 6,744 runs at an average of 44.66 with 16 hundreds. He retired from first-class cricket at the end of the English season but after Christmas is due to play for Sydney club UTS Balmain while also coaching New South Wales.


However, Thorpe is unlikely to play for the Sheffield Shield champions.


The second Test of the three-match series between Pakistan and England is due to start in Faisalabad on Sunday.

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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