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Atherton for Thorpe return

London: Former England captain Michael Atherton says Surrey batsman Graham Thorpe should be recalled to the one-day side to provide “short-term stability” to a middle-order struggling for runs.

The 33-year-old left-hander retired from one-day Internationals last year after long-running personal problems, but in February he said he would reconsider his decision.

England’s selectors have so far resisted the temptation to recall Thorpe, who averages 37.18 in 82 one-dayers.

“It is high time Graham Thorpe was brought back into the fold,” Atherton said in his column in the Sunday Telegraph

“Why wait' Call for the little man now, pop him back on his perch at first slip and breathe a little easier the next time England lose two early wickets.”

England’s middle order have struggled with the bat in the tri-series against South Africa and Zimbabwe, failing to provide back-up to the heavy scoring of opener Marcus Trescothick.

Andrew Flintoff and Anthony McGrath have both hit half-centuries but are averaging under 30, while Robert Key and newcomer James Troughton have scored 21 runs between them.

“Andrew Flintoff, promoted to number five, has failed to take his opportunities. His batting continues to disappoint as much as his bowling... ,” added Atherton.

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