Wright wants ODI spot

  • Last Updated: February 10 2013, 12:13 GMT

Luke Wright has made himself an invaluable Twenty20 asset to England, but it is a route back into one-day international cricket that is his biggest ambition for 2013.

Luke Wright: Wants to regain place in England ODI side
Luke Wright: Wants to regain place in England ODI side

The 27-year-old has emphatically restated his case as an inked-in short-format player for his country over the past five months, and was one of the stars of a spectacular show yesterday in England's record-breaking 40-run victory over New Zealand.

Yet it is almost two years ago, in England's 10-wicket World Cup quarter-final trouncing at the hands of Sri Lanka in Colombo, that the all-rounder won the last of his 46 ODI caps.

Wright's stock as a Twenty20 specialist rose via stints at the Indian Premier League, Australia's Big Bash and also in New Zealand.

On current form, he is perhaps one of the first names on the England team sheet - and showed why again last night at Eden Park, where his 42 from just 20 balls at number three contained four sixes and then for good measure he took two for 29.

The catch is, though, that with every outstanding Twenty20 performance he produces he runs perhaps a greater risk of being pigeon-holed a specialist and potentially therefore moves no nearer to a 50-over return.

"I have huge ambitions to get back in the one-day side," he said.

"It's something I'm desperate to do.

"That's why last summer I was so pleased to get those (three) Pro40 hundreds (for Sussex).

"I just have to score runs when I play in that form of the game.

"That's all I can do."

Wright must hope that runs and wickets for his county, along with continued Twenty20 form for his country - and an appropriate word now and then in the ear of England's new limited-overs coach Ashley Giles - will somehow do the trick.

"If I get pigeon-holed, I can't do a lot about that.

"I've just got to keep knocking on the door, and keep badgering 'Gilo' and saying 'Look mate, I'm scoring runs - what have I got to do?'

"If there's a spot for me, I hope he'll pick me. If there isn't, I can't do much else.

"Maybe come the end of the tour, it might be something I could sit down and have a chat with him about, to find out what he wants to see from me or where I can improve and give myself better chances to get in."

Wright is well aware, however, that it will not be easy to oust some highly-talented incumbents.

"It's quite tough obviously at the top of the order - with KP, Cookie, Belly and Trotty to come back in.

"But I'd like to come into that middle order if there's no role for me at the top, and obviously my bowling might help.

"Batting at number three, I'm getting a key role in an England side - a responsibility that gives me a lot of confidence, and it's great to repay that faith."

He can do himself a favour by helping England close out victory in a series they lead 1-0 with two to play, but knows that will be far from easy.

"We went into the game under no illusions about how strong New Zealand are in this format, and knew we had to be right at the top of our game to beat them.

"Every time a batter came out last night, you saw again how dangerous they are.

"They'll come back stronger in the next game, plan again and come back harder. So we'll have to be that little bit better.

"These guys are so dangerous. You only need one of them to come off, and it changes the game.

"So we've got to back it up again on Tuesday."

The dimensions of Hamilton's Seddon Park are not quite so extreme as Auckland, but once again six-hitting - England hit 15 to their hosts' eight last night - will probably proliferate.

That is not something which will bother Wright.

"For the crowd to see high-scoring games is quite exciting," he said.

"Sometimes when 120 plays 120 on either bad wickets or massive outfields, it's probably not as entertaining.

"To see fours and sixes, I suppose that's what people come to watch.

"It's just that more people have got to be watching the ball in the crowd, so they don't get hit.

"It's the same for both sides, and it'll be the same in the next game."

England have a doubt about Eoin Morgan for that game because of a back problem.

Morgan spent time off the field during New Zealand's chase after the left-hander has jarred his back and England will assess his fitness at practice tomorrow.

For New Zealand, former captain Ross Taylor will be back for his second match since being controversially replaced by Brendon McCullum.

After making himself unavailable for the tour of South Africa over a breakdown of communications with Mike Hesson, Taylor returned in Auckland but could make only 13.

The destructive batsman has described his relationship with Hesson as a "work in progress" - an assessment with which the coach concurs.

"It was certainly good to have him back," said Hesson.

"I think 'work in progress' is a good term.

"We're working well together ... and the longer we do that the better that relationship will be.

"But it's going to take a while before we're going out for coffee every week."


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