Luke's getting in right, but other Sharks need to follow

Ross Taylor has praised the continued excellence of Luke Wright in T20 cricket - but the Sussex Sharks captain admits Wright's team-mates at the top of their order need to give him better support to get this season's campaign up and running.

Friday, 14th July 2017, 1:35 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 4:15 am
Luke Wright hits out against Hampshire at Hove / Picture by PW Sporting Photos/ Phil Westlake

Wright followed his 101 against Glamorgan last Sunday – his seventh hundred in the format – with his 32nd career 50 against Hampshire three days later. But on both occasions, they were in a losing cause with no other Sussex batsman getting more than 30 in either game.

Taylor said: “Luke is a world-class player and so far in this tournament he has produced quality innings for us. You can see why he plays in this format – and is successful – all around the world. He’s been outstanding in T20 since he started playing it. But the rest of us need to give him more support, he needs some help if we’re to get some wins under our belt.”

It’s no coincidence that since he gave up the captaincy last month Wright, 32, has produced his most consistent batting – against the red, pink and now white ball – since 2015.

He averaged 57.83 in six Championship innings after stepping down including his first century since September 2015 against Gloucestershire a fortnight ago.

“I wasn’t enjoying the captaincy and I definitely feel more relaxed now and able to enjoy my batting more,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a case of having a bit of luck too. It is nice to be scoring runs and concentrating on making a contribution to the team. We’ve made a disappointing start but teams beat each other in the South Group consistently so it is always open and competitive. There’s a long way to go.”

He will have another big role to play on Sunday at Cheltenham College when Sussex look to get their Blast campaign going with victory over Gloucestershire.

Taylor is convinced his side are not too far away. “We’ve got to stick with our method in these games and trust it, both as players and management,” he said. “Obviously there are always areas to work on but once we get that first win then confidence will build and we’re capable as a side of winning a lot of games in a row I feel.”

Tymal Mills has stepped up his comeback after a hamstring injury but won’t be risked on Sunday. He is likely to play some second-team cricket next week with a view to making his first Blast appearance either against Hampshire next Thursday or Kent on July 23.