London [UK], November 26 (ANI): England pacer Mark Wood is doubtful for the opening Test against Pakistan.
Wood, who had a hip injury during England's triumphant T20 World Cup campaign, has been recuperating in the UK and will join the Test team in Rawalpindi this weekend. Although the 32-year-old was unable to compete in the semi-final against India due to an injury, he was initially selected for the final against Pakistan despite being deemed ready to play.
As per the ESPNcricinfo, his recovery is reportedly going nicely. It appears improbable that he will be able to accumulate the necessary amount of overs at a high enough intensity to prepare himself for the rigours of a Test match with only three training days left before the series begins on December 1.
After skipping the 2022 summer, Wood returned to international action in Pakistan for the T20Is. He demonstrated how important his pace was as a point of difference by taking six wickets at an average of 7.33 in his two appearances throughout the seven-match series. He extended that form into the World Cup, taking nine wickets at 12.00 in four matches, bowling the quickest periods, and even leaving with the tournament's fastest ball--a full delivery to New Zealand's Glenn Phillips travelling at 154.74 kph.
Ben Stokes, the captain of England, expressed optimism about Wood's fitness and stated that there won't be any cover called into the team on Friday following the last day of England's warm-up match, which was replaced with a two-hour training session.
"No, we're sticking with it. We're not going to call up another seamer to this group. We took the decision to let Brooky and Woody spend that time at home, obviously being at Pakistan and the World Cup," Stokes said. "We felt a week at home for them would be more beneficial, just to get their batteries recharged, and obviously with Woody's injury, getting home and being around his wife and child would be better than being out here and getting all his rehab, which he could do at home," Stokes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
"We've let them go home. I haven't had much contact with them, just to let them chill out and relax. From all reports, Woody's coming on nicely and we'll see how he is when he gets out here," he added.
England will fly to Pakistan after their Test camp at the Abu Dhabi Cricket and Sports Hub. The first Test will be held in Rawalpindi on December 1.
England Men's Test squad for Pakistan tour: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ben Foakes, Will Jacks, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Liam Livingstone, Jamie Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Mark Wood and Rehan Ahmed. (ANI)