Mark Wood puts a smile back on the face of English cricket with skill, accuracy and blistering pace

Mark Wood puts a smile back on the face of English cricket with skill, accuracy and blistering pace

Wood arrived in the West Indies relaxed and refreshed after his wedding between Christmas and new year, his focus having been off cricket for the first time in years, a break he admitted last week he needed.

He does not hide his emotions on the field or off it. He can be honest, too honest sometimes, admitting his self doubt in interviews when other players keep them hidden behind a shield of banalities. Watching Stone bowl in Sri Lanka last year he worried he might lose his place in England’s 50 over team and be the one to miss out in the World Cup this year with Jofra Archer lurking in the background. He knew he needed wickets at Test level too.

After 12 Tests Wood averaged 41 with the ball, he was down on pace when he last played against Pakistan at Lord’s in May and the catalogue of injuries had many suggesting he go down the Twenty20 road. This was a crucial performance, one he has threatened for years but not delivered. 

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