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Wright seeks to address wrongs

NatWest Series

England hope to crack their lacklustre batting form in a bid to claw their way back into the NatWest Series against Australia later today.

The day-night encounter at the Rose Bowl has become vitally important for Andrew Strauss’ team, who are 2-0 down after twice failing to chase down reasonable targets in London.

So the pressure is on England’s top six to turn in some match-winning innings and buy them all some time together in a side which has to compete against Australia - and at the Champions Trophy - without injured stars Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen.

“You only get consistency if you’re performing well,” said all-rounder Luke Wright.

“No-one can expect to not score runs and then stay in the side.

“In an ideal world if you all play well you keep a settled side and that is what the best sides do - they have a consistent side where they all know their roles.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright is determined to build on the starts he has made with the bat in the first two NatWest Series one-day internationals

“But no-one can expect a free ticket to stay in if you’re not performing.”

England, like Australia, employed their batting powerplay after 45 overs in the 39-run defeat at Lord’s on Sunday due to the fall of regular wickets, and the trend of waiting for the end of the innings for the five-over slot is set to continue.

“The way we were going to use it would have been fine,” said Wright. “It is down to the players to be in there at the right times.

“It would have been fine if we had been at the end, it would have worked perfectly, so there is a responsibility to make sure we do it.

“You can easily lose two or three wickets in that powerplay going for it, so if you are five or six down it means you can be soon eight down.

“You are trying to leave it so that you can go hard in those overs and not get bowled out.”

England will be without Stuart Broad, resting after straining his neck in the opening game, and Joe Denly, who is recovering from a knee injury.

In contrast, Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is in rude health after missing the Ashes with a rib muscle tear, and keen to continue performing for his country in all three formats of the game.

“I don’t look at 32 as being old as a cricketer,” said Lee.

“I have missed a bit of cricket through the odd injury over the past 10 years but I’ve hopefully got a lot more to offer the Australian cricket team.

“I’m still enjoying my cricket, still loving being part of the Australian cricket team.

“You saw when I took a couple of wickets the other day that I’ve still got that buzz and that adrenaline. And while I’ve got that then I’ll keep playing.”