MARK WOOD is finally unleashed today after sticking to England’s no whingeing policy.
Fast bowler Wood plays his first match of the 50-over series against Sri Lanka, with England having an unbeatable 3-0 lead with one abandoned.
Wood’s place in the opening four games was taken by Olly Stone and, despite his frustration at being sidelined, he remained supportive of the Warwickshire speedster.
It is not in Wood’s nature to be bitter or angry but he reckons captain Eoin Morgan would toss him aside if he betrayed any sense of resentment.
Wood, 28, explained: “I’m fully behind Olly. I don’t think Morgy would have you around if you weren’t.
“It would be nice, one day, if we had a chance to bowl together and have a ‘pace off’ on the field. In the nets, it’s spurring me on to get my spot back.
“We’re one team. You don’t win nine series on the bounce without being together.
“It’s good to have healthy competition without being all bitter or sour. That doesn’t help anyone.
“I’m an England fan. If I wasn’t in the squad I’d be watching, wanting us to win.
“Olly is a great lad and I like that he bowls rockets.
“Some of the net sessions have been pretty hairy with the bowlers charging in, trying to get in the team.
“I’m sure Morgy is licking his lips at everyone charging in at training and trying to impress him.”
With the series wrapped up, England are likely to hand first appearances to Wood, Liam Plunkett and Sam Curran here in Colombo. Stone, Chris Woakes and Tom Curran could be omitted.
Morgan was last night considering whether to drop himself to allow Joe Denly to play his first England match in nine years.
Even though it a dead rubber, there is still plenty to prove for Wood and Co.
He said: “In my mind, there are four of five of us quick bowlers going for one spot in the first-choice team.
“Woakes, Plunkett and Ben Stokes are going to play. That leaves myself, Olly, the Currans and David Willey.
“I’ve been trying to bowl quickly in the nets and work on a few things.
“I need to have the right attitude off the field so when the chance comes, I’m ready.”
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