Mark Wood, Sri Lanka Tour, Side Strain,
Mark Wood. Image Courtesy: Getty

England pacer, Mark Wood is called into the national side as a replacement for Olly Stone. Wood last featured for the Three Lions back in May last year. He has played 12 Test matches so far. The forthcoming series against the Windies will be vital for the paceman, as he will look to put stellar numbers in his otherwise ordinary Test career.

Windies vs England 2019, Mark Wood, Olly Stone
Mark Wood. Image Courtesy: Getty

Fitness and form key for Mark Wood

He was impressive, and the fitness level looked solid during Lions tour to the UAE where he played all three formats of the game. Wood is likely to arrive in Barbados this weekend. On the other hand, Stone will head back to England, as he sustained a stress fracture in the lower back.

“I am really pleased to get the call, and I do feel for Olly in these circumstances,” said Wood. “I am excited to be joining up with a team that’s flying at the minute. The lads, under Rooty [Joe Root], showed what they are capable of. They are in a great place going into the West Indies tour and hopefully a successful 2019.”

Experience over promise

While many fans cried foul for leaving out the likes of Jamie Porter and Jamie Overton, the management went ahead with Wood. With World Cup very near in the calendar, England could have rested Wood, but the pacer had earlier shown interest in playing the red-ball format of the game.

However, Wood’s bowling average is 41.73, but his pace worked in his favour. Selectors feel he is fit and sound and can do the task in the Caribbean Island.

Olly Stone, Mark Wood, Windies vs England 2019
Mark Wood included in England’s Test squad. Image Courtesy: Getty

Wood said he worked on his game and fitness. He prepared himself accordingly, and the current state augurs well for him.

“I have put a lot of work into my game when I was away with Lions in the UAE during November and December, and I took on board what the coaches were looking for while I was there,” he said. “We discussed the way I trained, being more efficient with my preparation and having a positive mindset.”

Sayantan Bhattacharjee

A student of the game. Averaged 35-plus in gully cricket.