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Wood takes aim at West Indies batsmen

The England bowler is looking forward to their World Cup encounter on Friday.

Mark Wood is taking aim at the West Indies (Mike Egerton/PA)
Mark Wood is taking aim at the West Indies (Mike Egerton/PA)

England quick Mark Wood expects to feel like a striker with his shooting boots on when he takes on the West Indies.

Wood opened up a new chapter of his international career in February when he celebrated his recall to the Test side with a sizzling spell of fast bowling in St Lucia.

His relentlessly rapid five-wicket haul in the first innings won him man-of-the-match honours, after which he memorably described Windies batsman Shimron Hetmyer as having “two feet in the toilet” when facing his pace.

Mark Wood (left) is taking aim against the West Indies (John Walton/PA)

The Durham man will take happy memories of the tour into Friday’s World Cup clash at the Hampshire Bowl and hopes the feelgood factor will drive him to more success.

“It’s great coming up against the West Indies again because it is a team I’ve had success against,” he said.

It's like a goalscorer who is coming up against a team he's been scoring goals against in the past. I hope they are worried about facing me and that I can get amongst them again. England's Mark Wood

“It’s like a goalscorer who is coming up against a team he’s been scoring goals against in the past. He looks forward to that match and I’m the same against the West Indies because I have had a bit of success. I hope they are worried about facing me and that I can get amongst them again.”

The game is shaping up to be a bouncer barrage, with the pitch lending itself to exaggerated lift and both teams boasting an aggressive attack.

The West Indies skittled Pakistan for 105 at Trent Bridge, the lowest total of the tournament, and did so by unleashing an array of head-high deliveries from the likes of Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell and Sheldon Cottrell.

With Wood now partnered by Barbados-born paceman Jofra Archer, and both having hit 95mph in the victory over Bangladesh, England are not likely to shrink from the battle.

“The Windies in this World Cup have come with a clear game plan and that is a lot of short stuff,” he said.

“We got a taste of that in the Windies on the recent tour. But I can remember getting Darren Bravo and Hetmyer out to short balls so it is a good thing we can fight fire with fire.

“It could be like that, just landing blow after blow, back and forth, back and forth. The opposition batsmen don’t get a break if there is pace from both ends and it’d be nice if we can continue that trend.

“When real pace bowling is on show it definitely ruffles a few feathers and changes the momentum of the game.”

A pace race with Jofra Archer has spurred Wood on (David Davies/PA)

Speaking at the weekend Archer nominated himself as the quickest bowler in the England ranks and expressed surprise when told Wood had crept ahead of him with a delivery of 95.6mph – the fastest ball of the tournament.

That head-to-head will continue throughout the competition, with the Durham man not minded to back down.

“It is a good competition between us, a friendly one,” he said.

  1. Jun 14 v West Indies (Hampshire Bowl)
  2. Jun 18 v Afghanistan (Old Trafford)
  3. Jun 21 v Sri Lanka (Headingley)

“To have us both bowling at 94 and 95mph and have two guys from the England team at the top of that list is pretty good.

“It pushes us for sure. You’re pushing each other to be the best you can be and to be as quick as you can be. You have banter about it for sure, but you’re helping each other.

“I’m trying to bowl 0.1 mph quicker than Jofra and he’s trying to bowl 0.1 faster than me.”



From Belfast Telegraph