Wood to return for third Ashes test as England quick vows to go charging in

England will unleash their speed demon Mark Wood on a Boxing Day bonanza in a last gasp attempt to knock the Aussies off course.

On a tour that has lurched from bad to worse, Joe Root has got one more throw of the dice to keep the series alive on a ground that has been kinder to England than most with just one defeat at the MCG in 15 years.

And the indication from the head groundsman is that there will be plenty of life in the surface for England to try and keep the wood over Steve Smith.

It was a mistake to rest the Durham pacer in Adelaide after he had made life so uncomfortable for Smith in Brisbane, dismissing him for just 12 when he averages over 100 in Ashes cricket.

Smith then found life much more to his liking against the medium fast right arm offerings in Adelaide and hit 93 in the 275-run win.

But Wood will be back in Melbourne and, despite his disappointment at missing out last week, reckons he is well rested and ready to fire on all cylinders.

“I have to be ready to go and I feel like I’m ready to go this week,” said Wood. “If I was to say I’m ready to play, and then I break down in my first two or three overs, I’m ultimately letting the team down.

“We’re all part of a team here that’s trying to win the Ashes. You always want to play, but if that was the right call to miss out in Adelaide then I supported that.

“The game plan we’ve had for Smith has shown that if we can stick at it – especially for the first 20 balls – any batsman is vulnerable in that first 20.

“He’s obviously a class player – he’s been the one that we’ve probably talked most about and we’ll be trying to take their best players out the game.

“If I do get the nod in Melbourne, that’s something you can say is special in your life, and I can tell my son one day that I got up in front of that many people in a massive sporting occasion with everything on the line, and if that’s the case then I’ll give everything I’ve got, 100%, charging in, to try to get us the right result to get us back in the Ashes.”

Despite not featuring in Adelaide, Wood still had to sit through the video nasty that was shown to the players in the immediate aftermath of their defeat that sparked a ‘kick up the bum’ from Root.

The England captain vented his frustrations in public as well as in the dressing room, and a reaction is expected.

While there could be one or two bowlers with bruised egos and points to prove if they play in Melbourne, Wood’s only concern is to put his body on the line once more in a must win game.

“I think we probably needed it,” added Wood. “A brutally honest discussion at the end of the game in the dressing room.

“Chris Silverwood spoke, and put some footage up at the end of the game. We don’t usually look at footage there and then.

“Stokesy and Rooty spoke honestly to the group about things we felt weren’t going well and what we’d do better. It was a conversation that isn’t usual for us.

“Hopefully this game I can hold my hand up and say I did bowl the right length or whatever the captain wanted.”

Read More

Read More

Source: Read Full Article