Mark Wood is eager to make the most of his opportunity in the upcoming Ashes series and warned Australia they will face a different bowler compared to six years ago.
The England quick was absent for the most recent battle in 2019 due to a side strain while an ankle issue saw him miss out on the squad for the previous trip Down Under although the fast bowler did recover in time to feature in the one-day series at the end of the tour.
Wood’s only Ashes appearances occurred in the 2015 home series where he claimed 10 wickets but he only made his Test debut months earlier and is a different proposition for batters now.
Since he lengthened his run-up, the 31-year-old has averaged 25.5 in nine Tests and wants to “stick one up” to those in the Baggy Green.
“As an Englishman, playing against Australia is one of the biggest things you can do,” Wood said on BBC’s Project Ashes documentary.
“I have played a lot of one-day cricket against them and had some success. A lot of success as a team, some success individually so I would like to test myself against them again at the highest level.
“I was a bit naive and young, not in terms of age, but in terms of my Test career (for the 2015 series). I had just started, it was all fresh and I didn’t take it all in and I would love to have another go at it.
I would like to test myself against them again at the highest levelMark Wood on Australia
“I think I am a different bowler to what I was then, I have changed quite a bit and I have a lot more self-belief. I had a lot of belief inwardly in myself at the time but because I wasn’t putting the performances together, I think that is what knocked my confidence and ultimately every time I got back in the team I was trying too hard.
“Where as now and ever since I changed my run-up, the St Lucia Test and Johannesburg Test, to get those five-fers in the bag, I feel like I am an England cricketer, so to come up against this ‘Baggy Green’ thing they keep talking about, we’ll have our ‘Baggy Blues’ on so I would love to stick one up them.”
Wood is still in quarantine alongside the rest of the other Ashes members who competed in the Twenty20 World Cup earlier in November.