England’s right-arm fast-bowler Mark Wood has admitted on Tuesday (October 23) that he is racing against time to impress the national selectors and get one spot in the Three Lions’ squad for the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup at home.
The 28-year-old further went on to admit that he is competing with four other seamers –Tom Curran, Sam Curran, Olly Stone and David Willey for the one slot in England's squad for the World Cup next year. He also believes that Ben Stokes’ presence will offer the balance to England's World Cup squad.
His career has been hampered by injuries and Wood, who is all set to play his 35th ODI on Tuesday (October 23) in Colombo against Sri Lanka, wants to make a mark in the match and coming every opportunity to impress as he has already limited opportunity to stake his claim at the squad.
Wood told reporters, “In my mind, there's one spot in the squad for five of us. Liam Plunkett is going to play: he's been our best bowler for a while. Chris Woakes has been so consistent. He is a great bowler and he is going to take the new ball. And Ben Stokes balances the team.”
He further added, “So you've got one spot between me, Tom Curran, who feels he has got his slower ball back, Olly Stone, who bowls rockets and is ahead of me at the moment, Sam Curran, who can bat, and David Willey, who had a good summer. We're all probably vying for that one spot.”
With England scheduled to play only five more ODIs after the Sri Lankan tour before the World Cup squad is announced, Wood's chances to impress are going to be minimal and even he miss out from the squad if the selectors decide to go ahead with a left-arm seamer for the mega ICC event.
Wood further noted, “It can be frustrating when you are just on the outside with a World Cup around the corner. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have one eye on that. I know that, if I don't do well here, I am one tour away from not making that World Cup squad. And that's something we've been building up to for over four years. Ever since the last one. So I've got to do the business.”
He signed off by saying, “I've managed to swing the new ball out here so that has been a plus. And I have been trying to work on a few new slower balls. I feel I can get better with a few slower balls. But I'm against the clock a little bit. Everyone is fighting for that one spot so it is not like I can keep working on a slower ball for the next three years. Some of the net sessions have been pretty hairy as all the bowlers have been charging in trying to get a spot in the side. I've just got to prove myself and get better. And if I can do that, hopefully, I should get my spot back.”