Mark Wood ready to prove he is answer to England’s need for fearsome pace

 
Ross McLean
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Wood returned figures of 0-68 from 10 overs against a Cricket Australia XI on Thursday (Source: Getty)

Seamer Mark Wood insists he possesses the attributes to solve England’s need for pace after being recalled to the red-ball squad for March’s two-Test tour of New Zealand.

Wood, who has been beset by ankle and heel problems during his career, made his return in England’s five-wicket victory as they dispatched a Cricket Australia XI in yesterday’s limited-overs warm-up clash.

The 28-year-old’s figures of 0-68 do not tell the story of a performance which showcased genuine speed, a commodity England’s bowling sorely lacked during their 4-0 Ashes humbling.

“I’d like to prove a point to everyone, to my team-mates and the media, that I can be that X-factor bowler they want,” said Durham bowler Wood, who spent the winter with the England Lions.

“I want to prove to everyone that when I’m on it I can add something different and I can do it for a long period of time and be consistent.

“That’s my role in the team, to ramp it up and be aggressive and try to take wickets by bowling fast.”

Leg-spinner Adil Rashid claimed 3-45, while his Yorkshire team-mate Liam Plunkett and all-rounder Moeen Ali snared two wickets apiece, as the hosts amassed 258-9 from their 50 overs.

Skipper Eoin Morgan struck an unbeaten 81, which included seven fours and two sixes, as England chased down their victory target with more than nine overs to spare. Nottinghamshire’s Alex Hales also passed 50 and openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow made 40 and 36 respectively.

England’s five-match one-day series against Australia gets underway on Sunday with a tussle in Melbourne.

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