Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hussain Expects Troubled Thorpe to Find Form

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Hussain Expects Troubled Thorpe to Find Form

Article excerpt


ENGLAND are banking on Graham Thorpe adding more weight to the old theory that while form may be temporary, class is permanent.

Key batsman Thorpe went into today's first npower Test against India at Lord's with no form at all to speak of, having played just three brief limitedovers innings since the series with Sri Lanka ended more than five weeks ago.

But in addition to doubts about Thorpe's touch and timing, there also had to be concern over his frame of mind amid the fallout from a broken marriage.

It was at Lord's 12 days ago that he announced he would no longer play one-day cricket for England, partly to give himself more time to spend with his two children.

Since then it has emerged that only some persuasive words from captain Nasser Hussain stopped Thorpe from quitting the international game altogether.

It hardly adds up to a recipe for success.

Hussain, though, had no hesitation in backing Thorpe's ability to triumph in a series which England today started as second favourites following a crop of injuries.

"It would have been ideal if he could have played last week," said Hussain, referring to Surrey's surprising decision to leave out the 32-yearold left- hander for the championship match against Kent.

But Thorpe is the sort of bloke who, a bit like Mike Atherton before him, could go a month without playing and then come in on the big stage and get a hundred.

"He's a real big-match player, he's been full of energy this week and is raring to go," said Hussain.

"The Thorpe situation off the field is quite private so I don't want to dwell on it. But Graham, Duncan Fletcher and myself have had a lot of chats during the last year.

"They started in India over when he should come home, what cricket he should play and how he is going to handle everything. …

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