Luke's Wright behind England
Luke Wright is backing England to take the NatWest Series - even though he might not play a part in Saturday's decider.
By Michael Wise
Last Updated: 06/09/07 6:39pm
Luke Wright is backing England to take the NatWest Series - even though he might not play a part in Saturday's showdown with India at Lord's.
Making his debut at the Oval on Wednesday, the 21-year-old repaid the faith showed in him by coach Peter Moores by helping inspire England's about-turn in fortunes with the bat.
Alongside Owais Shah, Wright hit a half-century off only 38 balls as they moved England on from 137 for five to 316 for six in a match India eventually sneaked by two wickets.
But, assuming Andrew Flintoff proves his fitness on Friday, Wright will have to stand aside for the decider.
However, the Sussex youngster, whose efforts with the bat were reminiscent of Flintoff at his best, said he will be cheering his colleagues on regardless.
"I will be desperate to play but if I was not to play and we win then great," said Wright.
"If I do play I hope I can contribute to us winning that game. It was fantastic to play in a game like that yesterday, it was just a shame we didn't get the sugar-coating of getting on the right end of the result."
Opening the batting for Sussex, Wright has starred in the Twenty20 format this season, making 346 runs.
And, after a tentative start which saw him waiting seven balls to get off the mark, Wright's increasingly familiar aggression was apparent for all to see at the Oval.
"If I had tried to play any other way it would have probably put more pressure on me and I would have ended up getting out a different way," he continued.
"Sometimes if you go back at a bowler and try to put pressure on the fielding side it is a great way of relieving pressure on yourself.
"What I look to do is hit the ball as hard as I can each time."
The rapid promotion of the former England Under-19 player to the senior set-up came as a direct result of Sussex team-mate Matt Prior's own rise through the ranks.
Nevertheless, after Prior stepped up, it was still not immediately apparent that Wright was the man to fill the breach at county level.
"When Matt Prior went off to play for England they wanted to experiment and to start with they tried it with Ollie Rayner," Wright explained.
"Luckily when I got a nod to give it a go in the Twenty20 it went well and I carried it on in the Pro40.
"They had always liked me coming in to finish an innings at seven or eight so they might not have been keen to move me in the batting order.
"I was just hoping to prove myself at the top of the order, win some games for Sussex and establish myself.
"Obviously as it has gone well it has come with extra recognition; it is unbelievable to be sat here now among England players.
"It has been a strange two-and-a-half months, a real dream come true."