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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 January, 2005, 11:33 GMT
Thorpe tries to calm Ashes fever
Graham Thorpe
Thorpe scored 287 runs in the five Tests in South Africa
England batsman Graham Thorpe has urged supporters not to go overboard about the team's chances in the Ashes series after their win in South Africa.

"The media will drum up expectations but we have to be realistic," Thorpe told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Australia have been a long way ahead for a long time now, but I think we've shown we can have competitive matches against them.

"Our game has to go to another level if we're going to overturn Australia."

Thorpe is England's senior batsman, at the age of 36, but is eager to continue his Test career this summer.

Younger players like Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen are queuing up for his place, and the Surrey left-hander said: "I know my career won't go on for ever."

But he continued: "I have a contract with England until the end of September which takes in the next two Test series and I'm looking forward to playing.

"This team is certainly bringing out the best in me. It's been very much an up and down series [in South Africa], but one I've thoroughly enjoyed.

"It's been very tough and I'm glad to have got through five Test matches in six weeks."

Thorpe said he had no complaints about playing Tests back to back, but called for a four-day break between games.

"That gives you a bit of recovery time, and time to prepare for the next Test match. We had three Test matches back to back and sometimes only two days in between.

"We didn't have enough prepearation time, but we didn't grumble, we managed to turn it into a positive for ourselves.

"We didn't look for excuses when we played badly and I think that's one of the strengths of the team."




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