David Graveney said yesterday it would have been wrong to "rip up the script" and make changes to the England squad for the second Test match against Australia at Edgbaston, starting on Thursday.

Following England's comprehensive 239-run defeat at Lord's, the selectors had been urged in some quarters to bring in new blood. Yesterday, they named an unchanged 12-man squad.

Graveney, the chairman of selectors, said that the beaten players deserved another chance.

"If you look at the bigger picture, we have managed to get where we are, which is the second-ranked team in the world, by trying to be as consistent as we possibly can with selection," he said. "Obviously, there has been a lot of debate about certain players being under pressure within the team and the outstanding form of Paul Collingwood but the selectors felt that we wanted to stick with the same 12.

"We did not want to add other people. That would have sent a mixed message to people within that existing team.

"Basically, we are saying to the guys 'We back you' and building up their confidence to go out there and relax'.

" The atmosphere at Lord's was electric, I am sure Birmingham will be the same."

Collingwood had a sensational seven days with the bat for Durham. Graveney said: "I spoke to him yesterday [Saturday]. I didn't want to drag him out for another 24 hours. I know 'Colly' very well. He doesn't want to be branded a one-day player - he wants to play Test cricket.

"You can't do any more than he's done, to score three hundreds in a week. He obviously is disappointed but I think, deep down, he didn't really expect to be in the 12."

England dropped seven catches in the first Test and Graveney said: "In my playing experience, when you play against really good teams, you feel you cannot afford to let mistakes happen.

"The margin was huge by the end but, at various stages, if we hadn't dropped a number of catches which you cannot do against opposition like this, it might have been different. But there is no point making a huge issue of it. Then it will happen again."

Graveney dismissed reports that 100-cap Graham Thorpe had been asked to reconsider his availability after ending his England career within days of being overlooked for the first Test. He said: " Graham decided he wanted to retire from international cricket. His partner, Amanda, is about to have a baby and he wants a bit of time away.

"In a perfect world, we want him to stay available but I fully respect his decision. His life has moved on. He is going to emigrate to Australia at the end of the season."

Graveney backed England's batsmen, adding: "If you're talking about batsmen, they're aware that the likes of Robert Key, Paul Collingwood and Ed Joyce are knocking on the door before the end of the year but, rather than make a gesture by including other players, let's get behind these guys. They know what they've got to do."