Mark Wood

Eng vs Sa: Mark Wood says he has done nothing wrong after being dropped from the playing 11

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The England limited overs cricket team, led by Eoin Morgan is of the finest teams in world cricket currently. They have got immense depth in their batting and bowling departments. Mark Wood has played 11 T20 matches for England and picked up 18 wickets so far. He has been out of the playing 11 for England in the T20 series against South Africa.

Mark Wood believed that he has done nothing wrong to be dropped from the playing 11, but said that the current England playing 11 was a difficult team to break into. Sam Billings spoke about the same before the T20 series and has warmed the bench so far on the South African tour. Even the likes of Moeen Ali, the experienced all rounder is yet to play a game in South Africa.

Dawid Malan, the world’s top T20 batsman could not take his place in the team for granted with the likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Butler battling it out for the top order positions, alongside him. However, his match-winning knock of 99 runs in the third T20 would have lift much pressure off him.

Mark Wood would be hoping that the departure of Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and Jofra Archer, who are flying back home to rest during the three match ODI series will present him with opportunities to feature in the playing 11.

“I had a conversation with Morgy [Eoin Morgan] before the first [T20I] just saying it was a tough call but we’re going to go with the team that they went with, and was nothing that I’ve done wrong,” said Mark Wood said via Zoom from Cape Town on Wednesday.

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“He thought I was preparing well and things, it was just that was the gut feeling that he had and that was the team we went with. That’s international sport, isn’t it? I feel I did all right in the Australia Twenty20s but we just won three-nil here so it proved to be a good call,” added Wood.

Mark Wood took a wicket each in three T20 matces against Australia in September and had figures of 3 for 54 runs in the first ODI against the same opponents. Earlier in February, Mark Wood did not fare well against South Africa after having an economy of almost 11 in the three T20 matches.

“I think it’s just hard in general to get in this team,” Wood said. “You’ve got to take your chance if you get it. I don’t think I did a lot wrong in the Twenty20s against Australia, I think I did okay, quite well. But last time we were in South Africa I got smacked here so I don’t know if that was the reason maybe I wasn’t picked,” added Mark Wood.

Team always comes first for Mark Wood

Mark Wood was asked if he was disappointed on being dropped from the playing 11 to which he replied that he would prefer being a team man rather than complaining of missing out.

“A little bit but I still hold the core values of being a good team bloke and the team always comes first and you always want your mates to do well,” he said.

“There is a competitive edge to it where you don’t want to miss out and you of course want to be the guy that’s out there but Morgy has a very open and honest dressing room… and if there was ever a problem or if I wanted to know the reason why I was left out or how I could get better or how I could stay in the team then he would give us that that answer,” said Mark Wood.

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“It’s not about banging on his door or trying to kick it down or anything. It’s just saying, ‘look, can we have a quick chat’. I don’t think I need to make a point to the coach or the captain, I think it’s more the fact that I’ve been training well, I’ve been trying to keep myself running in case I was needed and now there’s an opportunity there that I could potentially play so it’s not trying too hard or trying to prove a point, I think, it’s just stick to the stuff I’ve done well recently,” added Wood.

Mark Wood hopes to have a good bowling partnership with Jofra Archer

Mark Wood admitted that he would certainly love an opportunity to feature in the playing 11 in the ODI series against South Africa. But, he said that he will miss bowling alongside Jofra Archer who is sent back home to rest after a long IPL season and the three T20 matches.

“He helps me, brings the best out of me, and he helps me get wickets because we have that combination where we both bowl quick but we’re very different types of bowlers,” Wood said. “I’ve been playing a new role in the 50-over side. When I first started out I opened the bowling, now I bowl first-change. So, it is always great to play with Jof, and I do feel like he does help me, and I hope I help him.

“I’m not that frustrated because I understand. We’re always being told by [head coach] Chris Silverwood we’re going to be rotated and rested and and things like that, so I think when it comes to the crunch, hopefully we’re in and around each other, like the World Cup. But at the minute I do understand that he’s been here, there and everywhere and needs a little break now,” concluded Mark Wood.