He is not often spoken as highly as Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, or Sam Curren, but yet he is effective for the England side by always doing the dirty work of keeping things straight and hitting good lengths consistently by bowling the ball just outside off-stump. Often flying under the radar, Mark Wood has certainly made an impact on the team in the past two years. But due to the other superstars in the team, his work gets unnoticed.
Wood’s brilliant bowling was there for all to see in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, as he just gave away 19 runs in seven overs while opening the bowling attack alongside Chris Waokes. Although the latter walked away with four wickets and also player of the match award, it was Wood who relentlessly asked questions to Sri Lankan’s opening batters who had no answers whatsoever in Durham.
In that lethal spell, the pacer was clearly unlucky to not get any wickets. In fact, he bowled a peach of a delivery to Sri Lankan skipper Kusal Perera to which the batter had absolutely no idea as to whether play it or leave it. Perera’s indecisiveness was about to amount to a wicket for the pacer until the batter was beaten without getting an edge to the wicketkeeper.
Sri Lankan’s struggles in the tour continued as their batters could only get 185, which the home side’s batters had not much trouble getting to the target with five wickets in hand and with 15 overs to spare.
Chris Woakes reckons not giving loose balls to batters is the key
Woakes, who complimented Wood well by picking up wickets at regular intervals, feels that not giving any freebies to the batters is important while bowling well in the first ten overs.
“You are always worried about your bowling figures as a bowler. You have to assess the conditions and adapt quickly as an opening bowler. It is all about not giving freebies in one-day cricket, the new ball travels quickly once it is in the gap.”
“(The rhythm) Not too bad. In the first couple of overs I bowled too short, but then adapted quickly and bowled fuller,” Woakes told at the post-match presentation.