ADELAIDE: Pacer Mark Wood has emerged as the latest injury concern for England two days ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup semifinal against India, with the bowler opting out of training in Adelaide.
As per Sky Sports, Wood appeared to pull up during a gentle job at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday. He took no part in optional practice, which was seemingly a precautionary measure as England confirmed that he had general body stiffness.
If the bowler does not feature in the second semifinal against India on Thursday, it will be a huge blow to England. The bowler has consistently topped 90 kmph since his return from elbow injury, which kept him inactive for most of the summer.
In the ongoing T20 World Cup, the bowler has performed brilliantly for his side. In four matches, the bowler has bagged nine wickets at an average of 12.00 and an economy rate of 7.71. His best bowling figures in the tournament so far are 3/26.
He remains a key component of the English pace attack alongside Sam Curran, who is the side’s leading wicket-taker in the tournament with a total of 10 scalps, including a historic spell of 5/10 against Afghanistan, which made him the first English bowler to take a five-wicket haul in T20Is.
Tymal Mills is the closest England has as a like-for-like replacement for the right-arm fast bowler. Though he is a left-armer, Mills is capable of bowling at an extreme pace.
Concerns over Wood is another potential headache for England, which is yet to make a call over the availability of left-handed batter Dawid Malan, who tweaked his left groin while fielding during his side’s previous match against Sri Lanka. England won the match and it earned them a position in the semis.
Though Malan is optimistic about featuring in the semifinal against India on Thursday, England will be reluctant to take any risks given the magnitude of what is at stake.
The left-hander is a key part of England’s top-order, having scored 1,748 runs at an average of 38.84 as an anchor. His consistency and amount of runs scored have kept him within the top 10 of the ICC T20I batting rankings. Malan has also topped the list for long stretches. Currently, in the sixth position, he is England’s highest-ranked T20I batter. Phil Salt is likely to take Malan’s place if he is ruled out. (ANI)