Mark Wood, who featured in back-to-back Tests and T20Is for the first time, has admitted that he has come a long way with the fitness side of things and added that he feels good. However, Wood also insisted that he wants to be the bowler who can contribute to his side winning games.
Since making his debut in 2015, Mark Wood has been hailed as one of England’s ‘X-factor’ bowlers across the formats. While he proved his pace was becoming troublesome for the batsmen, his career has been marred thoroughly with injuries, which in the past has halted his career. However, since the turn of the year, the pacer has worked hard on his fitness, including playing back-to-back games for the Three Lions.
Against New Zealand, the speedster featured in both the Tests - at Lord’s and Edgbaston - before playing the first two T20Is on the row against Sri Lanka. While he was rested in the final encounter, the pacer admitted that he has come a long way in international cricket with the fitness side of things.
"I just played back-to-back [Tests] versus New Zealand, played back-to-back in Sri Lanka. So to people who have doubted that, I have come a long way with the physical side of things. My routine, the strength coach, nutrition, bowling coach,” admitted Mark Wood, reported ESPNCricinfo.
“I'm older and more mature now to say when my body isn't quite feeling right, not just pushing through to play another game. Good communication has led us down this path where I have played back-to-back Test matches, back-to-back T20 - I was rested for the last one, not injured. If I can keep that going I'll be happy," he added.
While Wood has featured in the Test side, he has become an indispensable part of the T20I side, with his express pace becoming a vital part of England’s middle-over plans. The Durham pacer insisted that his goal would be to continue to contribute towards England’s wins. He also added that he wants to take important wickets for the side, across formats.
"Yeah, I feel good, I've strung a few games together, kept my pace up during the Tests and then into the T20s. I've backed up a lot of games now, the most since 2020-21 among the squad. If can contribute to winning games, that's what it's all about. That's the bowler I want to be, if I'm taking wickets I want to take important wickets - that's the key.
The 31-year-old also insisted that England need to ensure that they are winning games in the ODI format, with the World Cup around the corner in 2023. He also stated that every game and any game for the Three Lions is important and revealed that he is thankful to be involved with the squad.
"I've missed so much cricket that playing any format for me is really special. As bowlers we're rested and rotated to be fresh. But in this format we have to make sure we're winning games, otherwise when it comes to that World Cup we could be in a tough group. Any game for England is important, I'm thankful that I'm involved in this squad. At the end of your career you don't look at the games you were rested for, you look at the games you played.