• Wood trials longer run-up

    England fast bowler Mark Wood is hopeful an extended run-up will yield sustainable match fitness, starting with this month’s ODI series against Sri Lanka.

    Wood is renowned for generating sharp pace off a short run-up, but has been prone to injury. He has undergone several heel surgeries in particular.

    ‘It’s something I’ve worked on in the second half of the season in England and brought it here,’ Wood told Talksport.

    ‘It’s a trial, something I can go back to if I want to do the step-back run-up.

    ‘Off my short run-up, I felt I was having to force it all the time. That meant I was putting more stress on [myself] than I needed to, having to ramp it up to get my top speed.

    ‘So I pushed my run-up back, so that it felt like I could cruise into it a little more and look for more rhythm, rather than trying to be at the top end all the time, and putting more stress on my body.’

    The tourists’ preparation for the five ODIs has been hampered by wet weather. A tour fixture against Sri Lanka Board XI, in which Wood snared two wickets, afforded England some acclimatisation. The second fixture against the same opposition in Colombo, though, was washed out.

    ‘We’ve had a lot of rain so far. Some days are red hot, sweaty humid conditions, and quite nice to bowl in and there are some days when it’s rained a lot and it’s coming from the ground up. It’s different conditions to deal with,’ added Wood.

    ‘The pitch didn’t feel as sub-continental like as you might think. It’s subtropical here in Sri Lanka, not like India or the UAE. It’s more humid and a lot greener than you might expect. The one-day wickets have had a bit of tennis-ball bounce and have swung a bit for England for three or four overs, so we have to use that to our advantage.’

    The first ODI will be played in Dambulla on Wednesday.

    Image: Getty

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    Jonhenry Wilson