Mark Wood on pace partnership with Jofra Archer: “We enjoy playing together, it brings the best out of me as I’m sure it does for him… when we bowl together it’s exciting”; Watch the fourth T20I between India and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket, 1pm, Thursday
England fast bowler Mark Wood has said clinching a series win in India would give the side “huge confidence” ahead of the T20 World Cup that will be played there later this year.
The tourists take a 2-1 lead into the fourth game of the five-match series, after Wood played a starring role in an eight-wicket win on Tuesday, taking 3-31 from his four overs.
Wood, who was part of England’s 50-over World Cup-winning side in 2019, says he hopes that the team could carry the momentum of any series win with them to the T20 tournament to be played in India in October.
“It would be a brilliant achievement to win in India – against a top side,” Wood told reporters ahead of Thursday’s fourth T20I in Ahmedabad.
“It would also give us huge confidence going into the English summer and the [T20] World Cup which will be held here.
“We’re trying a few different things, a few different roles for certain players, but when you put wins on the board – like we did before the 50-over World Cup – it gives you confidence.
“We’re not going to take a backwards step now; we’ll be trying to get that series win.”
England’s solitary defeat in the series so far came with Wood out of the side, a foot injury preventing him from playing in the second game. But he says the issue is no longer bothering him and he’s available for selection.
“It was frustrating I got a niggle, but at least it wasn’t a big injury or anything like that,” Wood said.
“If I keep doing the right things behind the scenes and if I have to miss the odd game here or there, I’d rather that and be charging in bowling as quick as I can, keeping my performance level up, than bowling at 50 or 60 per cent and not doing myself or the team justice.
“I did a big fitness [test] before the third game and all of that went to plan. I felt it was good and I’m glad I played and my name will be in the hat again [for Thursday], if selected.”
Fitness provided, Wood does seem to have forced his way into captain Eoin Morgan’s starting XI in the shortest format, forming a devastating tandem with fellow fast bowler Jofra Archer – the pair combining for seven wickets at the cost of only 130 runs from their 20 overs in the series so far – but Wood isn’t taking his spot for granted.
“We’ve got that many good bowlers that I don’t feel like my place is a given,” Wood said. “I’ve got another chance to prove myself in this series, and ultimately we all want to be part of that group that plays in and hopefully wins the World Cup for England.
“Morgy is a great leader, someone that when I don’t play, he tells me straight why I’m not playing or what he wants me to improve on. When I am playing, he’s very clear on my role, it’s very clear what he’s after from me in the game in terms of plans and things.
“Obviously, I’ve played a lot of games under his captaincy so we both get on well and know each other well, but that doesn’t mean that I am in any given team.
“I’ve got to keep working hard off the field, as much as on the field, and keep delivering.”
As for his burgeoning pace partnership with Archer, Wood added: “We enjoy playing together, it brings the best out of me as I’m sure it does for him.
“We just concentrate on our own roles and when we bowl together it’s exciting. It’s great to be able to back each other up and put the pressure on the opposition.”