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Thorpe urges England riposte

Graham Thorpe looks ahead to the third ODI against Australia

Batting coach Graham Thorpe has challenged England to bounce back from recent disappointments in the third one-day international.

Alastair Cook’s men, having fallen to a 5-0 Ashes defeat and lost the opening ODI, looked set to beat Australia for the first time this winter yesterday.

But James Faulkner’s remarkable 69 not out – most of which came in a 10th-wicket stand of 57 alongside Clint McKay, who made two – took Australia to an amazing win with three balls to spare.

Thorpe admitted the England dressing room was a downbeat place afterwards but has urged the players to respond.

“It was tough to be in a dressing room like that last night,” he said. “Some of the coaches have seen it before.

“We have had bad moments in our careers and we’ve had good moments but the most important thing is that it’s our job to make sure they are picked up and ready to go again.

“There were some good things from last night’s game and some things that we have to address.

“But I think if we can stand up and actually win tomorrow’s game it would be an enormous achievement and show enormous strength in the side.

”We have to demand that from the players. When you put on an England shirt that's what you have to do.”

While such a riposte would be highly impressive, Thorpe does not believe it is beyond England.

He added: “If the guys are in the right state of mind and they’re ready to look Australia in the eye again and get out there and perform, and play with pride, and keep developing themselves as cricketers then we’ll stand a good chance tomorrow night.

“It’s not the time for us to sulk and feel sorry for ourselves. We have to stand up and keep going forward.”

Thorpe revealed, too, that England may look to freshen up their XI in Sydney, with a win essential to keep their hopes of a series triumph alive.

“We haven't had a big meeting about it today, but come tomorrow we have to look at the side which we pick,” he said. “Do we need to change things for tomorrow?

“Part of this is learning about players and can they stand up in this environment and perform? That’s what we have to find out on this trip, for our planning when we come back (for the World Cup).

“It’s not just the immediate series, which is not lost.”

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