Wood doubtful for West Indies clash
The Durham quick is struggling with an ankle injury.
England paceman Mark Wood is an injury doubt for Friday’s World Cup clash against the West Indies after a recurrence of his ankle problems.
Wood experienced discomfort in his left ankle after the victory over Bangladesh in Cardiff, during which he recorded the fastest delivery of the tournament at 95.6mph.
Captain Eoin Morgan was eager to downplay concerns, and a matchday fitness test will take place, but given Wood’s career-long history of injuries it seems unlikely he will take the field.
He has undergone three major operations in the past and experienced another flare-up on the eve of the competition, withdrawing from a warm-up game against Australia after pulling out of his run-up in pain.
“It’s nothing too serious, he just pulled up a little bit sore from the game in Cardiff, he’s the only concern at the moment,” said Morgan.
“Mark is going to have a fitness test in the morning. If it is still sore, we probably won’t take a risk.”
Wood dramatically rebooted his career on the winter tour of the Caribbean, finally locating the venom and velocity England had long desired from him.
The Durham quick spoke earlier in the week about his eagerness to impose himself on the same opponents at the Hampshire Bowl, but may now have to accept that three consecutive games is beyond him.
Asked about the need to manage the workload of the bowling group, Morgan said: “It’s part of the plan, because they are fast bowlers.
“It will happen to other bowlers throughout the tournament. We’re well aware of that. We will have to manage them as we would normally, as we do with Chris Woakes if there’s back-to-back games.
“It’s not a problem, it’s just what happens.”
Wood’s place could go straight to Moeen Ali, who was stood down as second spinner last time out. His wife gave birth to a baby girl, Haadiya, on Wednesday, but after one day of family time he was back in the indoor nets with his team-mates.
Morgan confirmed that key man Jos Buttler had been given the green light to play, and keep wicket, after sitting out the second innings against Bangladesh with a right hip complaint.
The uncertainty over Wood gently increases the burden on Jofra Archer, England’s other express paceman.
Barbados-born Archer will be playing the seventh one-day international in Southampton but his first against friends and one-time team-mates in the West Indies set-up.
Archer has a British passport and an English father but learned his trade in the Caribbean.
Only after being overlooked for the Under-19 World Cup four years ago did he begin the process that would ultimately see him head to county cricket with Sussex and end up spearheading England’s bid for the trophy.
Morgan knows better than most what it feels like to switch international allegiances, after trading the green of Ireland for the blue of England and playing against his former side six times.
“Being in that position myself it does feel different playing against a side you could potentially have played for or played for. He won’t know how it feels until he plays the game,” said Morgan.
“I’m sure he will handle it like he’s handled everything else in the tournament so far.
“It’s great that he’s in an England shirt now. Every challenge he has come up against so far he has come out the other side really well. So let’s just see how it goes, we are not expecting anything majorly different.”