England fast-bowler Mark Wood has lengthened his run-up to reduce the "stress" on his body in a bid to keep up the run of match fitness, as he prepares for the upcoming five-match One Day International series in Sri Lanka starting on Wednesday (October 10).
Ever since his International debut in 2015, Wood's career has been dogged by injury problems with a longstanding ankle issue which needs particular and constant supervision. In the recent times, the 28-year-old has undergone numerous bouts of surgery on his troublesome left heel.
His ability to generate sharp pace from a short and explosive run-up is a key reason that Mark is one of the premier bowlers of three Lions. Now, the pacer is match fit and raring to go, with the World Cup looming next year, hoping a smoother run-up will help him to keep match fitness and his pace for a longer and smoother run in the national side.
Wood told Talksport on Monday (October 8), “It's something I've worked on in the second half of the season in England and brought it here. It's a trial, something I can go back to if I want to do the step-back run-up. I spoke to Kevin Shine, the head bowling coach, and Chris Silverwood, who's out here, and said that off my short run-up I felt I was having to force it all the time. That meant I was putting more stress on than I needed to, having to ramp it up to get my top speed.”
Durham bowler further added, “So pushed my run-up back, so that it felt like I could cruise into it a little more and look for more rhythm, rather than trying to be at the top end all the time and putting more stress on my body. You can quickly disappear if you are trying to get a wicket every ball.”
He further went on to explain, “I'm a little bit older now so I'm trying not to put too much stress on my body and I have lengthened my run-up a little. I spent the last month in England with that run-up and felt I got more out of it. I can always go back, I do feel at times I can bowl just as quick off two steps as I can with a long run-up, so I will just see how it goes.”
Wood signed off by saying, “I said to him [Silverwood] that, although I'd played a few games for England, I hadn't taken loads of wickets. I'd taken one in a game, two in a game but I hadn't had that five-wicket haul. I was putting more stress than I needed to my body and having to ramp it up to get to my top speed. I just pushed my run-up back a bit and felt I could cruise into it a little bit better, and look for more rhythm rather than being at the top end forcing it.”