Vaughan backs Wright for Test place

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The Independent Online

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has backed Luke Wright for a place in the Test side against South Africa this winter.

Vaughan believes that, with Andrew Flintoff retired and Steve Harmison absent, England need to find a fifth bowler to balance their side.

And with Stuart Broad, in Vaughan's opinion, not yet ready to bat at number seven, that leaves Sussex all-rounder Wright with a great chance of facing the world's number one Test side.

"The key will be getting the right balance going into that first game," Vaughan told Press Association Sport at a signing of his new autobiography, Time to Declare.

"I think they'll need five bowlers so someone like Luke Wright has got a great chance.

"I don't want to see Broady go to seven just yet - I think it will happen but not at this stage - so I think Luke Wright could get a spot.

"One of the batters will probably miss out.

"I'm not too sure who because I think (Jonathan) Trott should play, (Kevin) Pietersen should play - it'll be between (Paul) Collingwood and (Ian) Bell to see who gets that final spot."

Vaughan believes England were right not to take Harmison to South Africa.

"Once Steve Harmison started making noises about not going to Australia in 12 months' time, I think it was right for them to move on with a new set of players," he said.

"In an ideal world you'd maybe want one more tall bowler who can bowl at 90mph.

"(But) they've moved on. You have to give these young players time to develop as a team.

"They did brilliantly in the Ashes.

"Harmy didn't play that much, Fred didn't play an unbelievable amount.

"He'll be missed because of the character and the X factor he brings to the ground but (Graham) Onions, Broad, (James) Anderson for me looks a pretty good bowling line-up with the back-up of a spinner like Graeme Swann."

During the most recent meeting between the two sides, a one-day game at the Champions Trophy, England captain Andrew Strauss refused to allow his South Africa counterpart, Graeme Smith, a runner when the latter suffered cramp.

Vaughan thinks the incident will be remembered by both captains going into the series - and could even work in England's favour.

"I'm sure it will have a little bit of needle but that's what you need and you want in a Test series - you want a bit of confrontation," said Vaughan.

"I've had three series against Graeme Smith - two of them we were at loggerheads, one of them we weren't and he beat me so maybe it's a good thing to have a bit of confrontation leading into a series."