England’s Mark Wood is relishing a threatening partnership with fellow fast bowler Jofra Archer during the ongoing World Cup.
Wood, Archer, New Zealand’s Lockie Ferguson and others have been registered among the fastest bowlers at the 2019 tournament in the United Kingdom.
‘When real pace bowling is on show, it definitely ruffles a few feathers and changes the momentum of the game. It wasn’t long ago that everyone was looking round for quick bowlers while Australia had Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. It is nice to have guys who will fear our team now,’ said Wood.
‘The opposition batsmen don’t get a break if there is pace from both ends. There is no respite from us. It is great that we can pose that threat.
‘I’m trying to bowl 0.1 mile per hour quicker than Jofra, and he’s trying to bowl 0.1 faster than me. When you come off the analyst says, “Oh, Jofra was quicker today” and you think, right I’ve got to put the throttle down here, and then the next time he says, “You were quickest” you get a little buzz.’
Wood might draw example from the West Indies, come Friday’s fixture at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The men from the Caribbean have deployed short deliveries to good effect this month.
‘Could short-pitched bowling have a big role to play? I think so. The pitch in Southampton tends to offer a bit of tennis-ball bounce, so it would suggest that the back-of-a-length ball might be more successful than the full ball,’ added Wood.
‘The Windies in this World Cup have come with a clear game plan and that is a lot of short stuff. We got a taste of that on the recent Caribbean tour.’
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