After being overlooked by England for most of the international summer, Mark Wood will look to take out his frustration on Australia in the upcoming white-ball series and send a message ahead of next year’s Ashes.
The paceman was dropped after the first test against the West Indies in early July, didn’t play in the rest of that three-match series, and also failed to earn a recall for any of England’s three tests against Pakistan last month.
Wood acknowledged it was “hard mentally” to live for two months in a bio-secure bubble and barely get a chance to play, but didn’t go “moaning and groaning” to selectors behind the scenes.
“You never want to be left out, or the easy drop,” Wood said in a video call on Wednesday. “It’s not my style to shout and scream. I have a great relationship with (England test coach) Chris Silverwood and I just asked him honestly what I needed to do to get in the team and improve.
“Sometimes you don’t get the answer you’re looking for. He said he was happy with me but just that I didn’t get selected. I think once you know you are not in the team, you are disappointed but you are very lucky to still be in a squad playing for England.”
The disappointment will be slightly eased if he makes the team for the three-match Twenty20 series against Australia starting Friday, and then a three-match ODI series against the same opponent from Sept. 11.
Wood has been a key member of England’s white-ball team in recent years, and is a World Cup winner from last year.
“It’s always good when you play for England, don’t get me wrong, but there’s an extra incentive when you play Australia, your biggest rivals,” Wood said. “They are desperate to beat you, you are desperate to beat them.
“It doesn’t matter of it’s the Ashes, white ball, T20. We’ll be desperate to beat them.”
Wood said he’ll be looking to bowl fast and put a marker down to the some of Australia’s batsmen, with an away Ashes series a little more than a year away.
Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson’s domination of England in the 2013-14 Ashes series stemmed from his intimidating bowling in limited-overs matches between the teams the previous year, while Wood also brought up England quick Stuart Broad winning his personal battle with Australia opener David Warner with both the white and red ball last year.
“It’s a very different format, a very different game. But there’ll always be talk about the Broad and Warner situation,” Wood said. “If you can get the wood over them, and can start the ball rolling with a couple of players here, I’m sure they’ll be thinking about that whatever the format.”
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