Mark Wood is targeting the biggest cricketing scalp of them all when he hopes to add Indian captain Virat Kohli to his illustrious list of victims on Thursday.
Wood has a happy knack of bagging the world’s best players and will be aiming high when he returns to the England side at Trent Bridge for the first of three Royal London one-day internationals.
‘In big games I’ve managed to get big wickets,’ said Wood, who reports himself fit and raring to go after being left out of the Twenty20 series between the sides where India demonstrated their considerable firepower in a 2-1 win.
Mark Wood is hoping to claim the scalp of India captain Virat Kohli during the ODI series
Wood has claimed a number of high-profile scalps during his white ball career with England
‘There’s been Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, David Warner, Faf du Plessis, people like that. I haven’t bowled against Kohli yet but I’m hoping a huge player like him will focus me and I can get him out.
‘I enjoy the challenge because it’s almost like I’ve got nothing to lose. The guy’s their best player so if I can get him out I must be doing something right. My feeling inside is that I want to show people how good I am by dismissing Kohli.’
Wood, 28, has always had the talent to get the best players out but the question marks over him have always concerned his fragile fitness record and his ability to put together a sustained run of white and red ball games.
‘I’m a bit older and I’ve got more confidence in my body now through playing time,’ said Wood.
‘I’m sick of saying it but, as a fast bowler, you’re never going to be a hundred per cent fit. I’ve been pretty good this year and my ankle has been fine.
Having missed the Twenty20 series with India, Wood is raring to go in the three-match series
England vs India ODI series fixtures
July 12 Trent Bridge (12.30pm)
July 14 Lord’s (11am)
July 17 Headingley (12.30pm)
‘When people have asked how I am it’s been nice to say ‘I’m alright’ and actually mean it. Missing the T20s has given my body an opportunity to settle.’
The Durham man is a key one-day performer with less than a year to go to the World Cup and with England facing three 50-over matches against a formidable India side that will test their status as cup favourites to the full.
But Wood insists he will not prioritise the one-day game and is determined to play in the Test series that follows which sees England taking on India in five matches in just six weeks.
‘Test cricket is still the pinnacle for me and the moment I let that go I might not be the same bowler,’ he said. ‘In my garden I always played Tests and I still want to play Test cricket. If you’re regarded as a top player it is usually because of your Test performances.’
England will play three one-day matches against India, starting at Trent Bridge on Thursday
But first comes a one-day series that could knock England off their stride as they build towards that all-important home World Cup.
‘India always want to be the best team in everything so this is a good chance to show them how well we’re playing in our home conditions,’ added Wood.
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