Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt feels that Mark Wood is the reason for England’s success in the 3rd Test of Ashes 2023. Salman Butt feels that pace plays a big role in Tests and something similar has happened after England inducted Mark Wood in the playing XI.
Mark Wood was not picked in the first two opening games of Ashes 2023. The right-arm pacer was inducted in the 3rd Test and arrived with a bang, hunting a five-wicket haul in the 1st innings. He also hit 3 sixes while batting to score 24 runs off 8 balls.
Pace Does Play A Big Role: Salman Butt Hails Mark Wood
While speaking about ENG vs AUS 3rd Test on his Youtube channel, Salman Butt highlighted how Mark Wood’s presence lead to England’s success in the match. He also pointed out how Australian batters were forced to expose two stumps against Mark Wood’s pace attack.
“Pace does play a big role. It intervenes in a batter’s thought process. Some Australian batters used to cover all three stumps while batting. However, they have started to expose two stumps while facing Wood. This is the difference that genuine pace makes”, Salman Butt said.
Butt, who played for Pakistan from 2003 to 2010, also feels that England should have picked Mark Wood and Chris Woakes from the opening Test itself. He was confused why the duo were absent from England’s playing XI in the first two games.
“I have been saying since the first Test that Mark Wood and Chris Woakes must feature in England’s playing XI. No idea why England instead went with a bunch of medium pacers. It was like they had promised that they wouldn’t bowl over 80 mph”.
“There might have been an injury concern with Wood, but still, they could have gone with Woakes. Their presence has made a big difference. Furthermore, Woakes can also contribute with the bat. Wood also played an impactful knock. The two guys who didn’t play the first two Tests went on to pick 13 wickets here,” Salman Butt further said.
Chris Woakes has been impressive in Headingley Test too. The right-arm pacer has already hunted 6 wickets in the match, picking 3 wickets in both innings. England need to chase down 251 runs in order to win the 3rd Test. Australia lead the series 2-0.