Ashes a tough upbringing for England hitters: Thorpe


Graham Thorpe said he believed England’s underperforming hitters had received “a wake-up call” by their struggling Ashes and had already started to rebuild their techniques.

With head coach Chris Silverwood isolated due to the Covid-19 outbreak in the tour camp, Thorpe will step down from his assistant role to take charge of the New Years test in Sydney.

At 3-0, the streak and the urn are long gone, but there is still no hiding place for a batting unit that has been mercilessly on display.

No English player has made it a century in the series, with captain Joe Root and Dawid Malan the only members of the squad reaching 50.

Thorpe, who has played 100 Tests, accepts that there is an element of shock within the squad but points out the gulf between the challenge ahead of them and the domestic game they came out of.

“They are trying to learn in county cricket, but the truth is when they come out of county cricket they have to relearn because trial cricket is 10 times harder,” Thorpe said.

“County cricket is what it is, you have to get the players out of there and then educate them in international cricket.

“When I look at the stick in general, I try to teach the basics of the game. We always try to educate some of the younger ones about it, the pace of the match test stick, playing situations in the game, do it for long periods of time Some haven’t been able to do it yet Some people travel to different places.

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“With some players that is a red flag and it could actually kickstart their careers because they started training in a very, very different way. They don’t waste time bloating, hitting half volleys.

“They’ve had some really good bowling attacks, which got to watch them a bit and see where some of their Achilles heels are, and they have to face that reality.”

Thorpe will take the reins at a pitch where he began his coaching career with New South Wales more than a decade ago, working with promising prospects Steve Smith and David Warner.

“It was a great life experience and a wonderful opportunity to live and work in a different environment,” he said.

“People like Davey and Steve seeing them when they were younger they weren’t made the way they are now and some of our players have to understand that.

“The players have to figure out where they want to go and the hard work that takes.”

Thorpe turned to former Surrey teammate Adam Hollioake for coaching support. Although born in Melbourne and now living on the Gold Coast, Hollioake played tryout cricket for England and was team captain for a day.

Local health restrictions mean that, as a late arrival from a different state, he is currently only allowed to work outdoors with the team.

“He’s excited, so we’re looking to see if we can get that through,” Thorpe said.

“He can bring a little energy to the locker room and to the philosophical side of life, which is very important at times like this.”

Vodafone Men’s Ash

Teams

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Nic Maddinson, Michael Neser , Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes , Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Program

First test: Australia won by nine wickets

Second trial : Australia won by 275 races

Third test: Australia won by one set and 14 points

Fourth test: January 5-9, SCG

Fifth test: January 14-18, Blundstone Arena


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