Cricket Expert & Columnist
The Wright fit
Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports that Luke Wright fully warrants his recall to England's T20 side.
Last Updated: 12/09/12 8:28am
Nasser Hussain told Sky Sports that Luke Wright fully warrants his spot back in England's T20 top order.
The powerful right-hander was recalled to the side at number three in place of the out-of-form Ravi Bopara for Monday evening's rain abandoned T20 against South Africa at Old Trafford.
Wright was part of the England line-up that won the 2010 World Twenty20 in the Caribbean and has been included in the 15-man party for this year's event in Sri Lanka, which begins next Tuesday, on the back of some excellent short-format performances for his county side Sussex.
The 27-year-old scored 312 runs during the Sharks' domestic T20 campaign, while he also cracked a 44-ball hundred while playing for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League in Australia this winter.
"Luke Wright is a very good cricketer, has played brilliantly for Sussex this season and deserves his chance," said former England skipper Hussain.
"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.
"I don't like people who do one thing for their county and a completely different role for their country; coming in at six with two spinners on is not what I'd do with Wright. But there is not much difference between opening and batting at three in T20 cricket - it might just be one ball."
Hussain believes that Bopara, who has made knocks of 16, 0, 6, 0 and 6, in his last five one-day appearances for England, is still being affected by the personal problems that caused him to miss his country's final two Test matches against South Africa this summer.
And the Sky Sports pundit feels the only way the Essex stroke-maker can recapture his form is if he is given a sabbatical from the international spotlight.
"You have to put Ravi Bopara out of his misery," said Hussain.
"I know him from my Essex days and so do Andy Flower and Graham Gooch and when he goes through a trot like this it takes him a long time to come out of it; mentally he just seems to have peaks and troughs. I think his private life has affected his batting and he needs a break.
"I played with Graham Thorpe and Alec Stewart; if anything off the field affected Graham his cricket life was not important and you had to give him a break.
"But if Alec had issues at home you would never know about it; he would turn up and think: 'This is my job, I can do it'. Bopara, though, falls into the Thorpe category."
England's Women's team took a 2-0 lead in their five-match T20 series with West Indies on Monday by recording a 28-run win at Old Trafford.
Sarah Taylor top scored for the hosts with a 37-ball half-century, and Hussain reckons the Sussex star will play a pivotal role for her side in the World T20, which runs concurrently with the men's version.
"England have lost Claire Taylor but Sarah Taylor is a good replacement," he said. "Her bat is a proper big bit of wood and she uses it incredibly well. She has good balance at the crease and doesn't over-hit.
"She just strokes the ball away and is a seriously good player. She is also one of the finest wicketkeepers in world cricket and she is going to be a star in the World T20. However, it is not just her as England have every base covered.
"The only thing is conditions. If the World T20 was being played in England, as it was in 2009 when they were victorious, I think they would win it, but Sri Lanka is the hardest place to play as a cricketer because of the heat and humidity.
"The grounds are also reasonably big and if England run the amount of twos they ran (on Monday), they are going to be in trouble."