England’s Mark Wood confident he will be fit for Cricket World Cup
Wood was sent for scans and although initial results were positive, the final results of a more detailed scan may not be available until Monday.
Those England fans unable to resist the lure of pessimism spent much of Sunday agitated by the silence, worrying about whether Wood’s ankle and the fractured finger of the captain, Eoin Morgan, were the first steps towards their frontrunning team falling apart. Late in the day, though, the England camp suggested Wood was likely to be all right. In the meantime, Wood had been talking up his fitness, telling medical staff that he already felt much better.
If injury does rule out a fast bowler, it could mean a recall for David Willey, who was unlucky to be squeezed out by Jofra Archer. Chris Jordan is another possibility. Tournament rules state that any squad change must be permanent, so it is a hard call if an injured player could have time to recover. For Wood, it would take a foot beyond repair to force him to step down.
For some time Wood has been England’s fastest bowler, underlined by blistering performances in Test and one-day cricket in the West Indies this year. Archer has recently emerged as a fellow operator above 90mph. But without Wood, the inexperienced Archer would be England’s only express option.
The opening batsman Jonny Bairstow tried to take the positives out of Wood’s initial absence, as well a cut finger that limited Liam Dawson. “It was a bit frenetic, having to build up the overs from other people and fit them in,” Bairstow said of the Australia match. “So in many ways it was very good, because it at least gave us clarity of what we can do when things don’t go according to plan. That’s the way we have to look at it, because we could have things go wrong in a World Cup game.”
Nor are they the only injury concerns, with Wood, Morgan and Dawson joined by Adil Rashid nursing a sore shoulder, Chris Woakes looking after his knee, and Archer hurt after a heavy fall in the field. All are on the recovery list and will likely be available to start the tournament.