Thorpe upbeat over England for World T20 despite injuries
England will still be a threat at the World Twenty20 despite mounting injury problems, says Graham Thorpe.
Last Updated: 11/03/14 10:12am
Ashley Giles' outfit were rocked on Monday with the withdrawal of Joe Root, while captain Stuart Broad and deputy Eoin Morgan are struggling with knee issues.
They have stuttered on the tour of West Indies ahead of the ICC event in Bangladesh but Thorpe remains hopeful the team can shine without the axed Kevin Pietersen as they look to regain the title they won in the Caribbean four years ago.
"The simple fact is he's not here, and he's not going to be here," Thorpe said of Pietersen, after England's batsmen had collectively faltered to go 1-0 in the first of three Twenty20s against West Indies on Sunday.
"We have what we have in the squad, and for me it's capable of surprising people in Bangladesh. But to do that, we must be bold.
"I would rather see us go down in Bangladesh having a real good go up front and attacking, so that's at the forefront of our minds. We actually want to win it, and that's what we'll have to do."
England failed to get out of the group stages when they tried to defend their title in Sri Lanka in 2012, Pietersen absent then too during his 'reintegration' phase.
Thorpe added: "At the Twenty20 World Cup, we have a puncher's chance if we get things right. I think that's the realistic side of it for me.
"If we can get through that group, we've done very very well. Then we have a puncher's chance in the knockout stages. We will only do that by being bold and upbeat about our performances, and not getting too down when we do get beat."
England were undone at the crease against West Indies at the weekend as their spinners took six wickets for 46 in 10 overs and they will face the same opponents on Tuesday in a must-win fixture if they are to avoid series defeat.
A 7,000-mile trip east, via London, will then await them before two warm-up matches in Fatullah and then the start of their campaign in Chittagong.
"We know we need to improve and we know we need to work out what is our best line-up - and we have four games to go until our first one," said Thorpe.
"I don't think we will ever say we dominate in the sub-continent. In the first 50-over game (in Antigua), we had a few problems - and we addressed them, and came back very well. It's about remaining upbeat, we want the guys up top to be positive."
He believes England must balance learning lessons from defeat, and dwelling unnecessarily on it.
"It can happen in Twenty20, it can run away from you pretty quickly in Bangladesh, we all know the footwork and shot selection are going to be crucial. We musn't panic from this game. We must look to take the confidence from the 50-over stuff, and come back in the next two."
To that end, England are likely to name at least one more spin option on Tuesday alongside James Tredwell.
The indications are that Morgan will be fit to lead the side in the absence of Broad, scheduled to have an injection on his patella tendinitis in the hope of recovering in time to return in Bangladesh.
Out-of-form number three Luke Wright is sure to be vulnerable, despite having won his 50th Twenty20 cap on Sunday and 100th in the two limited-overs formats.
For West Indies, key spinner Sunil Narine remains doubtful for the second match after hurting his knee in the field on Sunday.