Pakistan the standard bearers - Thorpe

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Graham Thorpe

Graham Thorpe says England have the talent to succeed in Twenty20 cricket - but insists they must play with freedom

Graham Thorpe has called on England to learn from the best when they meet Pakistan in two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai next week.

Pakistan memorably won the World Twenty20 on English soil last summer, a competition in which the hosts fell at the Super Eight stage.

Although England have made noticeable strides recently in the shortest form of the game - they drew the recent T20 series in South Africa - Thorpe believes they should try and emulate Pakistan’s fearless approach.

“Pakistan won in England and they won it with some dynamic cricket and some highly-skilled players executing those skills very well,” said Thorpe, who is in Dubai in his role as England Lions batting coach.

“There is a lesson to be learned from that: you need to play with freedom and you need to throw caution to the wind sometimes, but there is a technique and a way of doing that as well and that’s a route the England players are trying to go down.

“The games will be fascinating for me to see how the Pakistani players go about things because they combine everything that’s good about Pakistan cricket.

“Sometimes in the longer form of the game they struggle with the repeating of disciplines, but in Twenty20 cricket there’s only 20 overs to play and that’s the difference.

“That’s why they are a very dangerous side in the short version of the game.”

The matches on February 19 and 20 are the last 20-over encounters for both sides before the World Twenty20 begins in the Caribbean in late April.

Thorpe is confident England have the talent to lift a major trophy, but admits there is room for improvement.

“We’ve been close in Twenty20 cricket and to actually get to a final would be great. I think England have the players but they need to execute better in those pressure situations,” he added.

“I’d say England haven’t and their results in South Africa and in the ICC World Twenty20 show that.

“In England they played well against India and Pakistan and they lost to West Indies and to Holland, so that shows you what Twenty20 throws at a team.

“You need bowlers who can deliver their skills well, you need wicket-takers and as a batsman you need power as boundaries count.

“And while you need to be able to hit boundaries, the scoring rate also counts. There are a lot of dot balls in Twenty20 and if you can’t hit a boundary then you’ve got to be scoring off the deliveries.”

England play England Lions in a Twenty20 warm-up match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi next Wednesday, before the two encounters with Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium.

The contests serve as a precursor to their tour of Bangladesh, which features three one-day internationals and two Tests.


Pakistan taste World Twenty20 glory in England last summer thanks to some "dynamic cricket"

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