England’s Mark Wood looks to make World Cup claim against Pakistan

Home   /   England’s Mark Wood looks to make World Cup claim against Pakistan

first_img Since you’re here… Read more Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Cricket World Cup 2019 Mark Wood: ‘You almost feel like a superhero … you’re absolutely flying’ Support The Guardian Trent Bridge has been a torture chamber for bowlers in recent times but it is here, in the fourth ODI against Pakistan, that England’s Mark Wood will look to press his World Cup claims during what will be his first competitive outing of the summer.The 29-year-old quick has experienced a delayed start to the season after some bone bruising to his left ankle following his breakout winter tour of the Caribbean. Scheduled comebacks for Durham were ruined by rain, meaning Wood jumps straight into the deep end of an international. Share via Email Share on Pinterest England cricket teamcenter_img Share on Facebook Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, played a part in this, advising Wood to keep his powder dry before the World Cup. But with the player himself convinced that fellow fast bowler Jofra Archer is all but guaranteed to be in the final 15 named by the national selector, Ed Smith, on Tuesday, he is aware he needs to impress.“It’s great that Trevor is looking after us but there’s competition for places, so by no means do I think I’m over the line or in that team,” Wood said. “Everyone’s playing well. I fully expect Jofra to be in that World Cup squad, so unfortunately it looks like one bowler will miss out. I’ll have to push my case in the next two games.”If Wood can hit the same speeds as against West Indies – he touched 95mph during the St Lucia Test and carried this through to the ODIs – it could make for an electric match given Archer, rested for the wins at Southampton and Bristol that have England 2-0 up with two to go, is also down to play.Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett, two regulars in the side, are both set for a rest and thus raw pace is the order of the day. Wood views it as a mouthwatering prospect, having been hugely impressed by the squad’s newest addition and – in a light-hearted manner, it must be said, given some mischievous headlines before the series – slightly envious of the 24-year-old’s effortless speeds.“Jofra has natural raw pace whereas I feel I have to bust a gut to get it up there,” Wood said. “It’ll be good to have two pace lads in at the same time and see if we can really ruffle a few feathers. It will be interesting to see how far back the wicketkeeper stands for him and me.”That wicketkeeper will be Jos Buttler, who returns to captain the side while Eoin Morgan serves a one-match ban for a slow over rate at Bristol. With Jonny Bairstow also due a break, James Vince gets another chance to open even if his status as reserve batsman has been inked in ever since Alex Hales was dropped for non-cricketing reasons.There is greater pressure on Joe Denly to shore up his place among the squad players, too. Untrusted as a leg-spinner by Morgan in Bristol bar one rusty over – the ground’s small dimensions were also at play – the Kent man will get another chance but primarily as a batsman, with Adil Rashid returning for the rested David Willey.The bowlers to miss out will breathe a sigh of relief given Trent Bridge’s reputation. Another flat surface, towards the shorter boundary, appears to have been prepared at the scene of two world record totals from England’s big hitters, who racked up 444 for three against Pakistan in 2016 and then mauled Australia to the tune of 481 for six during last summer’s 5-0 whitewash.Sarfaraz Ahmed’s tourists may not wish to recall the time they were so badly manhandled but given the two teams meet here during the World Cup group stage – albeit a 10.30am start – and it is the ground for their tournament opener against West Indies on 31 May, this represents an important match for them.Imad Wasim, Pakistan’s left-arm spinner, said: “White-ball cricket is not a bowler’s game but credit to the groundsmen and the ECB, the pitches are unbelievable. It’s like a batting paradise. You have to find a way to contain and take wickets.” Reuse this content … we have a small favour to ask. 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