England look to Wood as pace deficit starts to tell

Mark Wood catches up with Stuart Broad during an England net session in BrisbaneĀ 

England hope Mark Wood will be available to play for them in the two-day warm-up match in Perth ahead of the third Test.

While Wood is not currently part of the England squad, the Test team’s chronic lack of pace and variation has been shown up in the early days of an Ashes series in which England have only taken 18 wickets.

As a result, the England management are planning on adding Wood to the squad – subject to fitness tests – and seeing how he bowls in the match at Richardson Park (on December 9 and 10) with a view to selecting him for the Perth Test.

Wood, currently a member of the England Lions squad, has struggled with a series of ankle injuries in recent times. He bowled with impressive pace in the Lions match against Queensland, however, and is seen by the England team management as a point-of-difference player for them.

If the addition of Wood – a man who reckoned he was only bowling at around 80 percent of his optimum a couple of weeks ago – might seem a little desperate, it is probably no coincidence.

But there are injury doubts about most other pace-bowling options. Liam Plunkett has been struggling with a hamstring problem, Steven Finn has just undergone knee surgery, Jamie Overton is still recovering from a stress fracture and George Garton endured a miserable game for the Lions where he proved eye-wateringly expensive (10 overs for 86) and delivered three beamers.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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