Cricket News: Mark Wood is left out of England’s Ashes squad, but James Anderson returns for the second Test in Adelaide

Cricket News
Source: Skysports

Cricket News: England has taken another risky selection decision ahead of the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, leaving out their fastest bowler Mark Wood for the day-night match.

Despite being fit to play, Wood has been left out of a 12-man team for the pink ball Test on Thursday, an unusual decision given how his quick pace unsettled Australia in Brisbane.

Wood, who bowled at a peak speed of 94mph at The Gabba, knocked danger man Steve Smith for just 12 runs and frequently beat the bat, had figures of 3-85.

Nonetheless, he is the man to make way for James Anderson, who returns to lead the assault after missing the series opener to improve his match sharpness.

Stuart Broad, Anderson’s customary opening bowling partner, has been re-inducted into the team after missing out on the XI for the first Test in Brisbane.

Wood has a long history of injury issues, and he hasn’t always been able to put together consecutive games, but in the absence of Jofra Archer and Olly Stone, he is England’s last hope for genuine, bone-rattling pace.

Putting him on the bench with an eye to later games is a significant risk for a team that is already down 1-0, but captain Joe Root, who may be looking to Ben Stokes as an enforcer after being struck on the head by his vice-captain during a fiery spell in the nets on Tuesday, made the case for rotation.

“With four Tests coming up in the next four weeks, keeping our bowling group fit and ready for each Test is critical,” he said.

“Mark will play a critical part in this series, so we need to make sure he’s fresh and ready to go. He’ll be ready to play his part in the next three Tests of the series following this one.”

The final matchday choice could come down to Broad vs. Jack Leach, a situation England experienced last week in Brisbane.

Broad will be anxious to earn his 150th cap this time after their decision to go with the spinner’s variety on that occasion proved contentious, not least when he was battered for 102 runs in 13 overs.

“Jimmy and Stuart have done an excellent job of preparing for this Test. They put in a lot of effort in Brisbane and had a terrific rhythm in the sessions we did in Adelaide “Root remarked.

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