Mark Wood believes England's need for speed will lead to T20 glory

Mark Wood believes England’s need for speed will propel them to T20 World Cup glory after bowler clocked a scary 96.3mph on the speed gun during latest win over India… as he and Jofra Archer team up again to try and seal series

  • England can seal T20 series with India if they win in Ahmedabad on Thursday
  • They beat India by eight wickets to take a 2-1 series lead earlier this week
  • Mark Wood’s extreme pace has been a key factor in their success so far
  • He recorded a personal best of 96.3mph on the bowling speed gun this week
  • Wood believes he and Jofra Archer have key role to play at the World Cup  

Mark Wood is backing extreme pace to propel Eoin Morgan’s World Cup challenge on the slow pitches of India after producing one of the fastest recorded deliveries by an England bowler.

Wood hit 155 kph (96.3 miles per hour) on the Ahmedabad speed gun during another demonstration of speed and hostility that rushed England to a convincing victory in the third Twenty20 international.

It beat his own recorded best of 95.7 mph in the 50-over World Cup final against New Zealand in 2019 and Jofra Archer’s peak of 96.1 against Australia at Lord’s in that year’s Ashes.

Mark Wood celebrates taking the wicket of Rohit Sharma during Tuesday’s third T20 with India

Pace man Wood clocked a frightening 96.3mph on the speed gun during Tuesday’s win

Only Steve Harmison’s 96.8 in the 2004 Champions Trophy final against West Indies at the Oval has bettered it among England bowlers since the introduction of speed guns in the early 2000s.

‘I think my fastest was in the last game,’ said Wood ahead of Thursday’s fourth match against India when England have a chance to wrap-up the five-match series. 

‘It was a bouncer to Rohit Sharma. I did once notch 123 mph during practice at Durham when I was half running but the gun was clearly broken. I don’t know if that counts or not?’

What has counted in India is the pace partnership of Wood and Archer that was integral to England’s 50-over World Cup triumph and is looking equally important to their double hopes even though October’s T20 will be played in sub-continental conditions.

Wood took the wickets of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer during the third match

It paved the way for an eight-wicket win for Eoin Morgan’s team and a 2-1 lead in the series 

‘I’m hoping pace will be a big factor in the World Cup,’ said Wood, who has been outstanding in England’s two wins so far this series. 

‘I enjoy playing with Jofra. It brings out the best in me as I’m sure it does him. When we bowl together it’s exciting.’

Not that it is all about speed for Wood. ‘I’m watching India’s bowlers,’ he said. ‘I played with Shardul Thakur at the IPL with Chennai and he’s got a new slower ball I’m looking to adapt to my game. 

‘My role has been pretty clear but behind the scenes I’m still trying to learn new things.’

The extreme pace of Jofra Archer will also be key to English success at the World Cup in India

Keeping fit will be crucial for Wood, who missed England’s sole defeat in this series so far with a bruised heel. 

He commendably pulled out of this year’s IPL auction even though he only has a white-ball contract with England and his appearances will be carefully monitored ahead of the T20 World Cup and Ashes double that conclude this over-crowded year.

‘It was just a bit of a niggle before the second game,’ added Wood. ‘I went through a big fitness test before the third one and the heel is fine. It wasn’t a big injury.’

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