An England side reeling from a 151-run defeat by India, and already missing several fast bowlers, could be without Mark Wood for next week’s third Test after the express quick injured himself while fielding at Lord’s.
Wood landed heavily on his right shoulder while diving headlong into an advertising hoarding when saving a boundary on the fourth evening, but he still bowled at speeds in excess of 93 mph (150 kph) on Monday’s last day of the second Test.
There are doubts, however, over whether the Durham paceman, whose career has been blighted by injuries, will be fit to feature at Headingley, with England due to name their squad on Wednesday.
England are already without several seam bowlers in the injured Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes, while all-rounder Ben Stokes is unavailable due to a mental health break.
“The medics are working on him (Wood), we’ll find out more in the next couple of days,” England coach Chris Silverwood said Tuesday after a crushing loss that left his side 1-0 down in a five-match series following a rain-marred draw at Trent Bridge.
“We will make a decision, along with him and our medics, closer to the time. But if he’s not right, he’s not right. I certainly won’t push him into playing if he tells me he’s not right. I will look after him.”
But for all Silverwood lauded Wood’s “superb effort”, many felt he should have taken greater care in the field.
“It was madness,” said former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott in his column for Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
“Modern-day cricketers all dive athletically to save runs and the effort is commendable, but it is not worth the risk of injury to a leading bowler,” he added.
England, now without a win in their last seven Tests, repeatedly bowled too short at Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah during their unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 89.
The India duo then starred with the ball as England, set a target of 272, were shot out for 120 with 49 balls left in the day.
– England’s tactics ‘crazy’ –
England’s quicks appeared more interested in seeking revenge for the rough treatment number 11 James Anderson received when he batted, rather than dismissing the India tailenders.
“Bouncer after bouncer was crazy,” said Boycott. “Emotion got the better of England and common sense went out the window.”
England captain Joe Root — who made a superb 180 not out in the first innings — blamed himself for his side’s tactics, but Silverwood said: “It’s a collective and I’m part of that as well.
“We tried to go toe-to-toe with them, but what we could have done better is shift from that tactic back to Plan A, and hitting the top of off.”
Silverwood, himself a former England bowler, praised Shami and Bumrah by saying: “I thought they handled the situation really well.”
Meanwhile, there was no escaping England’s ongoing lack of top-order runs, with a first three of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Haseeb Hameed each out for a duck at Lord’s.
Only left-handed opener Burns, with a first-innings 49, managed a score of any note.
England may drop Sibley, averaging under 20 in Tests this year, following his duck on Monday.
But it is by no means obvious who would replace him.
Silverwood, now in sole charge of picking the squad after Ed Smith’s role as national selector was axed, said: “You’ve got to do what’s best for the team, ultimately, and find the best way of progressing England to a place where big first-innings runs — and second-innings runs — come in on a consistent basis.”
© Agence France-Presse