Sussex v Durham, Hove, 1st day May 11, 2014

Wright latest to send England reminder

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sussex 441 for 5 (Wright 183*, Brown 152*) v Durham

With England seeking a new start under Peter Moores it is the opportune time for players to push their name forward. Luke Wright was the latest to do so with a century against defending County Champions Durham as Sussex moved into a strong position at Hove.

Having missed the first few rounds of the season to be with his wife and new-born child in Australia, Wright endured a low-key return for Sussex last week against Lancashire but here gave a strong reminder of his ability after a lean winter with England.

Wright closed the day five short of his first-class best and in league with wicketkeeper Ben Brown, who went past his career-best score, set a new record for the sixth wicket for Sussex and for anyone against Durham. The pair added 326 to haul their side out of a sticky patch at 115 for 5 to close well on top.

At that stage, Durham's decision to insert Sussex looked a good one as they chase a first victory of the season. Chris Nash was the first man to go, edging Chris Rushworth behind for 10, and Michael Yardy then fell for just five when he was caught by Kumar Sangakkara off the bowling off Graham Onions.

Wickets continued to tumble - Ed Joyce bowled by Usman Arshad for 21 before opener Luke Wells gave wicketkeeper Phil Mustard a second victim. And when Matt Machan also edged behind, Sussex looked in some trouble.

But little did they know by the close of play Wright and Brown would have guided them to 441 with no further wickets lost.

Durham did have a chance to snare Brown relatively early but Mustard dropped his fellow wicketkeeper. His misery was then compounded the following ball when Brown stole a single, Mustard shied at the stumps and conceded four overthrows, allowing Brown to reach his 50 in 76 balls.

By that stage Wright had gone to his own half-century, also in 76 balls, and the hundred partnership was raised in the 58th over. Wright went on to notch up three figures with a four off Usman Arshad and five overs later Brown was also celebrating his century.

The pair survived the second new ball and played out the remainder of the day to complete a remarkable turnaround and leave Durham wondering how it all slipped away from them.

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  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Basically because that is what he is. He hasn't progressed on the international scene it matters a lot more than biffing a few county runs here and there. He's also batted a lot higher than 7 - 10 innings above number 6 - 1 50 (in 2008) 1 24 and the rest below 11, including his pitiful efforts at 3 in the Windies a few weeks back. He's had time to construct innings against HIGH class bowling, not a depleted county attack, and failed. I'd question his temperament more than anything, if we ingnore the lead footed drives, cross bat swipes and lack of back foot technique, his shot selection is woeful and one score about 24 batting above 6 in ODI cricket where he has time.

    Last year he played 12 innings in county championship, which did include 2 100s against a half decent Middlesex attack. Compare his season by season stats, his technique, his temperament, to the blokes ahead of him, and should be ahead of him - Taylor, Vince, Balance, Buttler, Morgan, Compton, Ali - he falls short.

  • Graem on May 12, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    @Dan Lord. Your argument seems to be based around having seen Wright play ODI circket at No7 for England over two years ago, when he was usually required to go in towards the end of the innings - not a worthwhile assessment. Players develop as Wright has done - yet you seem to maintain an image of him as just a T20 biffer. Last season right averaged 56 in the championship and has started this season where he left off. Anyone wanting to challenge for a Test spot needs these sort of stats.

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    My argument is, Wright is not good enough for test cricket. His excellent 20/20 stats? Last time I looked bar a 99 against Afgahinstan he'd done the square root of naff all.

    Hales isn't a test opener, least not yet, so no I wouldn't suggest he should be playing Tests, don't quite get that point. He should be opening in ODIs in my view. Wright has been given numerous opportunities at international level and hasn't shown anything more than the odd performance. It's typical English mentality - does well once or twice he has to come good at some point. It kept the likes of Hick and Ramps in an international side for far too long.

    If Wright becomes a test player of quality I'll hold my hands up - can't see it happening though

  • Graem on May 12, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Lordy21 You can post Wright's ODI stats and his excellent T20 stats if you think they are relevant, but your argument implies for instance that Alex Hales should open in Tests rather than being farmed out on loan to another county. You compare Wright with Morgan, a good comparison which demonstrates my point about some players inability to translate short form skills into the longer game - Wright has achieved that, Morgan hasn't.

  • Dan on May 12, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Aussiesfalling - "to say Wright isn't international class is meaningless" so the fact his technique and temperament isn't good enough to score runs at ODI level means it's meaningless in respective of tests? Wright hasn't shown anything to suggest he will maximise his ability. If anything he shows the complete opposite! I won't insult your intelligence and post his international stats on here - but they are extremely poor, worse than Bopara's, and he won't, quite rightly, play test cricket.

    Collingwood had scored runs at much more consistent level at FC and ODI before being brought into the test side. I really am worried for the state of English cricket if we are seriously considering a bit part player to fill in at test level ahead of the likes of Taylor, Vince, Robson et al. If you want unorthodoxy, pick Morgan - he at least has 2 tests tons to his name, or Buttler, who has scored international runs.

  • Graem on May 12, 2014, 10:23 GMT

    To say Wright is not international class is meaningless. To say he has been found out when he hasn't even played a single Test is meaningless. Sometimes you need to be prepared to pick players not entirely orthodox like Collingwood, because they have the ability to maximise their ability. Wright has shown over the last couple of years that he has improved to the extent that he can now do this.

  • Simon on May 12, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    Wright has stepped up in FC cricket over the last 3-4 seasons. Last season in particular he showed the ability to dig in and fight in tough conditions. England could do worse than Wright at 6, although he will be way down the pecking order.

  • Dan on May 12, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    Luke Wright - unfortunately - is not international class. He is a bits and pieces cricketer who's technique and temperament have been found out. Well done to the bloke on this knock, and sure he will continue to have innings like this against depleted county attacks every so often, as most players of ilk will do.

    Class9Ryan - he plays for Sussex and failed miserably in Aus this year for England.

  • John on May 12, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Wow - That is what you call a counter attacking comeback

    Also you have to say brilliant from Brown too. Both batsmen came in with Sussex in all sorts of trouble and both batsmen passed 150 and very impressive SRs

    Agree that he should not be thought of as an all rounder but he can deliever a few overs and while I'm not sure about him as an England senior player I believe his 1st class stats last year weren't too shabby and his batting average is better than Morgan's who has already had one opportunity. Would prefer Wright to Morgan

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    Luke Wright plays at Hove not at Durham but I still think if Luke Wright can continue to bat like this up untill when the test squad is announced for the Sri Lankan series he could be an outside chance of being in that squad I think he would do a very good job as a number 6 with the bat

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