England batsman Luke Wright vows not to be written off as second-best No 3



The man charged with taking over from Kevin Pietersen in defence of England's world title outlined his vision yesterday. Luke Wright, who seems certain to be entrusted with the No 3 batting spot from which Pietersen launched his campaign for Twenty20 glory two years ago, was as sanguine as could be about the prospect.

"I'd quite like to replicate that, that'd be quite nice," he said of Pietersen's performance in the 2010 World Twenty20, when he scored 248 runs in six innings at a rate above eight an over as England won their first major limited-overs competition.

"I don't think it's fair to put myself up against KP, especially in this tournament. We're just planning purely on what we're doing and what my role is. If I start thinking things like that it would make the role a lot harder."

England play their final warm-up match today at the Tamil Union ground against Pakistan, who have suddenly become much fancied after their own warm-up win against India by five wickets. The holders are in sunny humour, a mood no doubt enhanced by their nine-run warm-up win against Australia on Monday, rather than Pietersen's absence.

Today's match will be a more realistic examination for countering subcontinental pitches. England can expect half the overs they face to be bowled by spinners, four by their old nemesis, Saeed Ajmal.

Wright played in all seven of England's matches on their triumphant 2010 mission in the Caribbean, batting in the late middle order, occasionally bowling his extremely brisk, if rudimentary, seam, and tearing round the boundary like a demon. Although his elevation to No 3 has come about because of Pietersen's absence and Ravi Bopara's loss of form, he is a much better player now.

"This winter I have sometimes thought, 'I wish I could play the amount of cricket I have for England but start again now,'" he said. "Looking back, I see enough times on these cricket highlights over here on Indian TV some absolutely horrendous shots and I want to give myself a little talking to. Hopefully, I can get a run of games now, but it's up to me."

Wright may not be Pietersen – who is? – but nor should he be written off. He has recovered from a severe knee injury which required high-grade surgery a year ago and a key innings he played for Melbourne Stars in the Aussie Big Bash last January made the world, not to mention the IPL, sit up. He made 117 off 60 balls for Melbourne Stars in Hobart.

Doubtless it fuelled his self-belief, but it may also have convinced him his cricketing fortunes now lie in one area. Wright came as close as can be to being picked for a Test match in South Africa two years ago but recognises that he may never play in one now.

"I wouldn't say I've completely given up on it," he said. "I'd say I'm a long way off playing Test cricket. I've got to be honest, I don't think I'm a Test cricketer, as much as I'd love to be. I wouldn't turn to a young lad and say, 'Just go Twenty20', I'd still hope he'd want Test cricket first but for me I'm lucky enough that in this era my game has been given these opportunities."

The likelihood is that youngsters who see Wright prosper will see that way ahead themselves. And if he were to take this tournament by storm, Test cricket would not matter a jot.


Get Adobe Flash player


Results and fixtures

Yesterday's result

Group C (Hambantota): Sri Lanka 182-4 [Sangakkara 44] bt Zimbabwe 100 [B A W Mendis 6-8] by 82 runs

Today's fixtures

Group A (Colombo, 3pm BST): India v Afghanistan

Group B (Colombo, 11am): Australia v Ireland

TV Both games live on Sky Sports 1

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk