England’s seam attack is constantly shape shifting One minute it is the most lethal attack in the world, and the next it is hit by injuries and a lack of depth. Perhaps it is time to inject the consistency and experience of a bowler who has had success in county cricket for a number of years now. This is of course a reference to Chris Wright.
I have on many occasions referred to Chris Wright as a bowler both similar height, ability to get bounce, pace and indeed action as Indian lanky seamer Ishant Sharma.
Yet at over 27 years of age, he is a much more experienced and clever bowler than a bowler of the stature of Sharma, despite one having never played International cricket and one having drifted in and out of the Indian side. Wright made the England lions tour, is a realistic prospect to make the step up. He is considered as England material, and Wright has done not only everything to deserve recognition, but he would fit very well into the England puzzle, particularly ahead of the Ashes where depth is key.
He would fit be compatible with England’s current set up for a number of reasons. England are currently using Steven Finn as the tall fast attacking bowler. Although highly talented, he is also highly inconsistent, highly uneconomical, and has perpetual rhythm problems that have even resulted in him having a shortened run up in tests. Finn is 24, so he has time on his side, but he unfortunately does not have form. Wright does though.
In 2011, he moved to Warwickshire and was trialed in four matches in which he took over 20 wickets. After being awarded a contract for 2012 he struck with 62 wickets in a championship winning year, and now just one and a bit games into the county championship season, he has already taken 13 wickets. He is in the form of his life. Utterly prolific, and he doing it for the champions of the first division.
Alarm bells should be ringing in the selectors head. What is county cricket for if a player cannot dominate and be recognised to fill a necessary hole?
Currently as stated there are problems with Finn. Anderson is at the top of his game as he has been for a number of years now, and Stuart Broad is also returning to form, but with the injuries to Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett, England’s seaming stocks have dwindled of late. There is a heavy reliance on Broad and Anderson, so England really need to address their depth. They have called on a number of player on the recent tour to India and New Zealand, notably Stuart Meaker, Graham Onions and Chris Woakes, all of whom are fine cricketers, but once more, none of whom really have speakable form nor replacements for a tall fast strike bowler. Wright is.. well right at the top of his game. In the prime of his career at 27 so make the most of it.
In light of the fact that there are 12 tests, a Champions trophy, and two limited overs series’ to come in the next 12 months against New Zealand and Australia, the overwhelming amount of cricket is likely to lead to some injuries. Depth is called into question with injuries, and the strength of replacements is an obvious immediate point.
Existing England players need to be managed to an extent, so ultimately if and when a bowler in particular needs to be replaced due to injury, or is rested from ODI cricket (e.g.) to preserve them from tests, it is a fantastic opportunity to spread the burden of the fixtures. It is the opening to give Chris Wright an opportunity as an immediate replacement. He should be on standby.
As with so many players, this is just the break needed. One good performance and it can get a shoe into the side on a more permanent basis. Know doubt Chris Wright would be eager to perform for England to the same level he has done for Warwickshire.
Having just signed an extended 4 year contract with Warwickshire, he is certainly seen as a long term prospect. He is clearly seen as valuable. And, if the selectors of the national side values anything from county cricket then perhaps they’d see this too, and reward his success
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