Australia the inspiration as Wood sets sights on clean sweep
The Durham bowler wants to seal a 5-0 scoreline Down Under.
England are keen to give Australia a taste of their own medicine according to paceman Mark Wood, who is eager to land a one-day whitewash.
The tourists have been in stellar form since going from Test whites to white balls, leaving the disappointment of the Ashes behind them with victories in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney.
Ahead of Friday’s Australia Day clash at the Adelaide Oval talk in the camp is turning to a clean sweep in the five-match series – a feat England have achieved only once in their history, against Zimbabwe in 2001.
Such relentlessness was once a hallmark of Australia. Between 2005 and 2013 they claimed 5-0 wins over New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies, twice, not to mention 6-1 scorelines against England both home and away.
“I think Australians in the past have been ruthless and we want to try and emulate the old Australia teams by keeping up our good form and momentum,” said Wood.
“We want to really put a statement down and try to win 5-0. Hopefully we don’t lose that winning feeling. I wasn’t part of the Test squad but I was around it and a lot of the lads were hurting.
“As a one-day group with a few fresh faces we felt we had a point to prove to go out there and show these lads we’ve got some fighting spirit.”
It has been tempting over the past two weeks to hunt for clues as to why Australia controlled the Test series only for the tables to turn almost instantly in limited-overs cricket.
Wood’s pace has certainly been one factor, so too the brilliant strokeplay on show during match-winning centuries by Jason Roy and Jos Buttler as well as Eoin Morgan’s sharp captaincy.
The Durham seamer offers a less tangible reason though: the ability to sense the tipping points in a tight match and come out on top.
“In the Test series the lads talked about not winning the key moments but I think that’s what we’ve done in the one-day side, win those key battles,” he said.
“There’s been times Australia have been on top of us but we have those match-winners in the team who can turn around and win those key moments.
“We’ve just got on a bit of a roll, got the momentum going. We’ve got those sort of free-spirited, match-winning players in this one-day team who can really change a game.”
Hopefully not to bad. pic.twitter.com/NOrtvYUqFt— Liam plunkett (@Liam628) January 21, 2018
England are due to make at least one change to their team on Friday, with Liam Plunkett ruled out due to a hamstring injury he suffered mid-over at the SCG.
Left-armer David Willey and Tom Curran are both eyeing their first appearances of the series and have one more net session to stake their claim on Thursday.