PAK vs ENG | Mark Wood replaces injured Liam Livingstone in second Test, Ben Foakes kept at bay
Mark Wood is set to play his first Test in 8 months|
Mark Wood will be making his return to red-ball cricket against Pakistan in the second Test, after a long time away due to recurring injuries. The pacer replaces Liam Livingstone in what is the only change in the XI, meaning Ben Foakes misses out yet again in lieu of Ollie Pope donning the gloves.
England have announced their lineup for the second Test against Pakistan in Multan beginning Friday as they set out to take an unassailable lead in the three-match series. The European contingent has made only one change to their lineup from Rawalpindi, with all-rounder Liam Livingstone making way for pacer Mark Wood after injuring his knee while fielding on debut. Wood will be marking his return to cricket after injuring himself in the World T20 group stages, which caused him to miss the semi-final and final of the triumphant campaign.
The right-arm quick last played a Test in the Caribbean in March, where an elbow injury kept him out of the game for an extended period. Wood, with 82 scalps in 26 Test matches, could prove to be key in what is expected to be a flat pitch in Multan.
"Having someone in your squad who can bowl at 150 km/h is a massive bonus for any team around the world, especially as Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win," England captain Ben Stokes said of the pacer as quoted by BBC.
"Having someone of his calibre and what he brings will be massive for us. It will add to our ability to take 20 wickets," he added.
The announcement also meant that Ollie Pope will continue as the stand-in keeper in the second game as well, having impressed with a ton in the opener and taken a few impressive catches while donning the gloves. The batter had to take on the additional responsibility after regular keeper Ben Foakes was ruled out at the last minute in Rawalpindi due to illness and the 29-year-old has been reaffirmed of his future with the team by skipper Stokes.
"The selection is just for this Test. I'll still keep saying he's the best keeper in the world, so it must sound silly for us to not pick him. We did say to Ben to not take this as anything for the future. We didn't have this on our radar until the illness he, unfortunately, had before the first Test. This is definitely no sign for his future," Stokes explained.