The Ashes: Mark Wood’s slogan remains “wickets and wins” as England prepares for the fifth Ashes Test, hoping to put a positive spin on an otherwise forgettable month in Australia.
With high-profile wickets of the world’s No. 1 batsman Marnus Labuschagne and a fourth-Test knock of 39 that included three satisfying sixes off the bowling of Pat Cummins, the fast bowler has been one of the far-too-infrequent flickers of inspiration in recent weeks to give England fans reason to smile.
On the grounds that England has been “being pummelling,” he quickly dismissed the notion that his form had served as a “moral win,” but he insists that the visitors are committed to making apologies.
“I don’t want to feel like I have in this season,” Wood added, “where I’ve been disappointed in the dressing room.”
“It’s not a pleasant environment to be in. So I’m coming to the T20 World Cup to win, and we’re also here to win this last Test match. We haven’t done particularly well on this trip, but now is our moment to shine and demonstrate our character.”
The T20 World Cup will be held in Australia in October and November this year, with the hosts attempting to defend their title.
Wood has won the respect of both fan bases in Australia after dismissing Labuschagne three times in 17 balls and battling toe-to-toe with Steve Smith and David Warner and coming out on top.
He comes into Hobart with eight wickets at 37.62, with praise for not only his performance against the hosts’ main players but also his unwavering commitment on the international stage.
“I’m delighted with my effort,” he remarked, “but when you’re playing for England, effort should be expected.”
“Every time you give, you should give everything you have. I’ve given everything I’ve had. This is my final big drive to keep my speeds up and provide that to the squad. It’s all well and good to play games, but I’m seeking wins and wickets, so that’s my top goal.
“I’ve kept my tempo up, but haven’t gotten the wickets I’d hoped for. Now I have another chance to finish this game by putting something in the correct column.
“I want to step up my game and compete against the finest players in the world. When you get huge wickets, it’s always special – Smith, Warner, and Marnus are all top players.”
Wood had been dropped out of England’s squad for the second Test in Adelaide, where Australia dominated their opponents’ slower-paced seamers with remarkable ease. He’s handled the choice wonderfully since then, with steady speeds of 90 mph and higher continuing to put the big names in front of him to the test.
In the meanwhile, following the injury to Jos Buttler, Sam Billings will make his Test debut, driving 500 miles from the Gold Coast to Sydney after receiving his maiden call up. He was ready to depart the country after participating for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash when he received his maiden call up.
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