The Ashes: Mark Wood eager to ‘prove himself’ as he eyes fifth Test triumph and T20 World Cup glory


Cameron Hogwood

Interviews, Comment & Analysis @ch_skysports

Mark Wood is keen to build on his recent form against Australia’s key men: “I want to raise my game and prove myself against the best players. It’s always special when you get big wickets – Smith, Warner, Marnus – they are top players.”

Last Updated: 13/01/22 11:28am

Mark Wood has been one of England’s bright spot

“Wickets and wins” remains the mantra for Mark Wood as he and England enter the fifth Ashes Test eager to end their largely-forgettable month in Australia on a high. 

The fast bowler has been among the far-too-infrequent flickers of inspiration in recent weeks with high-profile wickets of the world’s No 1 batsman Marnus Labuschagne and a fourth-Test knock of 39 included three satisfying sixes off the bowling of Pat Cummins to give England fans reason to smile.

He was quick to dismiss the idea his form had served as a ‘moral victory’ on the basis that England have been “getting battered”, but insists the visitors are committed to making amends.

“I certainly don’t want to feel again like I have done in this series, where I’ve been disappointed in the dressing room,” Wood said.

“It’s not a nice place to be. So I will be coming to the T20 World Cup to win and in this last Test match we are here to win as well. We haven’t done very well on this trip, but we have a chance to stand up and show some character.”

Root looks ahead to the fifth Ashes Test against Australia and discusses Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings

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Root looks ahead to the fifth Ashes Test against Australia and discusses Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings

Root looks ahead to the fifth Ashes Test against Australia and discusses Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings

The T20 World Cup is due to take place in Australia across October and November this year as the hosts look to defend their crown.

Wood has earned his plaudits among both fanbases in Australia having dismissed Labuschagne on three occasions in 17 balls as well as going toe to toe, and coming out on top, with Steve Smith and David Warner.

He enters Hobart with eight wickets at 37.62 to his name, with recognition directed towards not only his production against the hosts’ key men but also his unerring passion on the international stage.

“Personally I am pleased with my effort, but when you’re playing for England effort should be a given,” he said.

“You should be giving with everything you’ve got every time. I’ve given 100 per cent. This is one last big push for me to try and keep my speeds up and offer that to the team. It’s all well and good playing the games, but it’s wins and wickets I’m after, so that’s my priority.

Will MacPherson and Michael Atherton look ahead to the final Ashes Test and discuss England’s selection issues.

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Will MacPherson and Michael Atherton look ahead to the final Ashes Test and discuss England’s selection issues.

Will MacPherson and Michael Atherton look ahead to the final Ashes Test and discuss England’s selection issues.

“I have kept my paces up, but not got the wickets I really wanted. Now I have another chance in this game to put something in the right column at the end.

“I want to raise my game and prove myself against the best players. It’s always special when you get big wickets – Smith, Warner, Marnus – they are top players.”

Wood had been left out by England heading into the second Test in Adelaide, during which Australia made relatively light work of their opponents’ slower-paced seamers. He has since reacted to the decision admirably, his consistent speeds of 90mph-upwards continuing to test the big names staring him down.

The fifth Test will meanwhile stage a debut for Sam Billings following the injury to Jos Buttler, with the Kent wicketkeeper driving 500 miles from the Gold Coast to Sydney having been about to leave the country after competing for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash when he received his maiden call up.





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