Wright out to oust Essex batsman in World Cup squad
17:45 11 September 2012
Luke Wright is hoping he can take the place of Ravi Bopara in the England side as the World Twenty20 champions play their final home match before beginning their title defence.
The Sussex all-rounder was recalled in place of the out-of-form Essex batsman for the abandoned second NatWest International Twenty20 at Old Trafford.
He shone briefly by claiming a wicket in a tidy over and hitting a quick 14 in a game that, after already being reduced to nine overs per side, was denied a finish by rain.
It was his first international appearance for 15 months and the 27-year-old will now hope to retain his place for the last match of the series at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
Wright, a member of the side which won the last World Twenty20 in 2010, earned his recall and a place in the 15-man squad for the latest tournament in Sri Lanka on the back of some fine domestic form.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes Wright, who has also played in Australia’s Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars, is a good addition to the team.
Hussain told Sky Sports: “Luke Wright is a very good cricketer, has played brilliantly for Sussex this season and deserves his chance.
“He used to get frenetic if he had faced four dot balls and then he would over-hit and lose his shape, but he doesn’t need to over-hit because he is a very strong man.
“This is a lad who can play check drives for six and has got a hundred in 40-odd deliveries in Australia, so he is not just a county bully.”
Wright batted at number three in the only change to the England side after the first match of the series at the Emirates Durham ICG, which was won by Sri Lanka.
His return could leave Bopara out of the picture on the eve of the tournament.
The Essex batsman was named in the squad despite the personal problems which disrupted his season and his subsequent loss of form.
Bopara pulled out of the second Test against South Africa in July and has since endured a string of low scores in all formats.
England are due to fly to Sri Lanka on Thursday after a night in Birmingham following the final game against South Africa.
They will then play warm-up games against Australia and Pakistan in Colombo before facing Afghanistan in their tournament opener on September 21.
In the short term, they have one last chance to find a way of dismissing Hashim Amla cheaply.
The prolific South African, masterful in all other formats over the summer, was again dominant and top-scored with an unbeaten 47 in his side’s 77 for five in Manchester.
England were 4.1 overs into their reply - five balls short of the amount required to constitute a result - and 29 for two when rain ended play.