I was surprised to see today that former England captain Michael Vaughan expects to see Luke Wright fill the void left by Andrew Flintoff’s retirement from test cricket for the team in the test series against South Africa.
Wright’s inclusion in the squad raised a few eyebrows to say the least and I admit to not being sure as to exactly what his role in the squad is, I do have a concern he is only there as a precautionary measure for Stuart Broad’s dodgy knee and that the selectors are keeping the potential seriousness of the injury quiet. Knowing the selectors it could be he’s there for any reason, probably not the logical reasons though.
If Vaughan’s evaluation of the situation is correct then Wright is going to bat at number 7, leaving (or protecting) Stuart Broad in his role as number 8, a position most seasoned observers believe he is best left in for the time being.
That would also open up the debate as to who will need to make way in the batting line up for Kevin Pietersens return. With Strauss, Cook and Trott apparently assured of their places it will be a straight choice between fans favourite Ian Bell and a personal favourite of mine Paul Collingwood. In fairness neither could complain at getting the axe, or Cook for that matter.
I was under the impression that Luke Wright would just be a squad member, there for the experience and cover for injuries, that the England managements only two real options where to go with five batsmen, Prior at number 6 and a five man bowling attack made up of Broad (batting at 7), Swann, Anderson, Onions and probably Sidebottom or to play all six batsmen , with just a four man attack backed up with Collingwood’s bowling, although if they are planning to play six batsmen then surely they would have taken an extra batsman on tour – although with the selection of the best batsmen in the country as Geoff Miller keeps telling us they are, why would they need to take any cover?
If Luke Wright does play it will be a baptism of fire and a poisoned chalice of a role to fill, not only will he have the pressures of test cricket to cope with and be facing what is probably the best pace attack in the World at the moment, he will also be trying to fill the shoes of that marketing magnet bloke who is always wearing a Puma t-shirt whenever we see him on Sky Sports News, we all remember only too well in the past the burden of expectation placed on any player coming into the side who could bowl and knew which end of the bat to hold after the demise of Ian Botham. Good luck too you Luke.