Mark Wood unsure of spot in Best XI: The English pacer acknowledges his position in the pecking order for home Tests.
England fast bowler Mark Wood has revealed his intention of bowling quicker than fellow pacer Jofra Archer. “I cannot speak for Jofra [Archer] but I definitely want to be quicker than him and I’m sure he wants to be quicker than me,” Wood said recently.
With 20 and 18 wickets to their name, Archer and Wood were respectively England’s highest wicket-takers during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Wood, 30, further disclosed one of Archer’s joke from the World Cup with respect to his bowling.
“Especially in the World Cup, he used to joke about it all the time, that they were putting my speeds up higher deliberately. If we were to play together it would be exciting. But it’s not a bad rivalry, it’s a friendly rivalry,” Wood added.
Wood, who eventually acknowledged that he needs to work hard to surpass Archer in the pace department, also believed that such rivalries make one a better cricketer.
“I would say he’s probably quicker than I am and certainly makes it look a lot easier than me so I want to prove that I can be as fast as Jof. That friendly rivalry does spur you on to be a better cricketer,” Wood further said.
Mark Wood unsure of spot in Best XI
Wood, who last played Test cricket during the tour of South Africa earlier this year, picked 12 wickets in two matches including a Man of the Match award in the fourth Test in Johannesburg.
Set to face competition from the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Archer, Wood didn’t shy away from admitting that he might not play the first Test against West Indies from July 8.
Headbands seem to be the new fashion accessory for our bowlers! pic.twitter.com/YPpIoakQZ0
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 25, 2020
“I don’t see myself being in the best XI in home conditions. Maybe away conditions suit me a little more. If you put your best XI down, I’m not sure my name would be in there.
“I’d love to be, and I’ll push as hard as I can to keep my spot but I’m thinking in home conditions I’m maybe not the first name on the team sheet. But we’ll wait and see what happens,” Wood mentioned.
In nine home Tests, Wood has picked 22 wickets at an average of 44, an economy rate of 3.51 and a strike rate of 75. On the contrary, his six Tests outside of England have seen him dismiss 26 batsmen at an average of 20.76, an economy rate of 2.92 and a strike rate of 42.6.