London: Nasser Hussain has urged England’s management to play Luke Wright in next week’s ICC World Twenty20 ahead of Ravi Bopara, whose recent efforts in all forms of the game since mid-July now read 0, 1, 3, 2, 16, 0, 6, 0 and 6.
Bopara, 27, returned to England’s limited-overs set up after leaving the Test side due to personal reasons but had a miserable run with the bat against South Africa, tallying 28 runs in five innings. His most recent outing was another single-digit score as England lost the first Twenty20 to South Africa in Durham on Saturday by seven wickets. England’s Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad has conceded that Wright is pushing for Bopara’s place, having had a strong year in the format for Sussex and the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, and Hussain has now implored England to select him ahead of a struggling Bopara.
"Luke is a very good cricketer, has played brilliantly for Sussex this season and deserves his chance," he told Sky Sports. "He used to get frenetic if he had faced four dot balls and then he would over-hit and lose his shape, but he doesn't need to over-hit because he is a very strong man.
"This is a lad who can play check drives for six and has got a century in 40-odd deliveries in Australia, so he is not just a county bully. You have to put Ravi out of his misery. I know him from my Essex days, when he goes through a trot like this it takes him a long time to come out of it. Mentally he just seems to have peaks and troughs."
England begin their defence of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka with a match against Afghanistan on September 21. India are the third team in Group A.