Fast bowler Mark Wood has come out and expressed that he is willing to sacrifice his place in the England white ball setup in order to fulfill the immense potential he has as a red ball bowler in Test Cricket for his country.
Wood, who has played just 12 Tests in three years, with three major operations on his problematic left ankle at one stage threatening his career, has made it clear that he won't give up on his dream to have a long Test career for the three lions and is willing to even let go a World Cup medal next summer in order to be fit for the Ashes at home in 2019.
He was recently quoted saying, “I’ve not really thought of it like that, I’ve thought Test cricket is still the pinnacle for me to play and the moment I let that dream go I might not be the same cricketer."
“I want to play Test match cricket. In the garden [as a kid], I always played Tests. I always watched Tests on the telly. I’m not saying there aren’t good players playing white-ball cricket but, if you’re regarded as a top, top player, it’s often through your Test performances.”
Wood, who was picked by the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, returned early from India to concentrate on the start of the County Championship in England this April. He is determined to do well in the white ball arena but is desperate to try and make an impact on the Test series against India this summer.
“I came back from Chennai because I wasn’t playing and it made sense for me to come back early and push for my Test career, Chennai were really understanding. Then I managed to keep my Test spot. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep it for Headingley but I’m raring at the chance to get back for at least one of the India games.”
Wood also talked about the upcoming ODI series against Virat Kohli's men and said, “It’s a different challenge, If we were to lose, people would say it was the kick up the bum that we need. We lost against Scotland and reversed that with 5-0 against Australia. It’s a big series. I think India always want to be the best team in everything so it’ll be a good test really to show them how good we are in our conditions.”
“I’ve been pretty good, I’ve just been managing my body. It’s nice to say to people ‘I’ve been alright’ rather than people asking and me saying ‘yeah, I’m alright’ when really you think I’m not. But I actually am alright [now].”
(Inputs from Independent)