Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Former England captain Michael Atherton is quite impressed with Mark Wood’s performance in the ongoing Ashes. Atherton believes that the pacer showed lots of grit and character despite results that haven’t gone their way. He also pointed out Wood’s spirited batting effort which helped England to avoid the follow-on in the second innings.

Wood’s raw numbers might not look that impressive as the right arm bowler picked just 8 wickets in 3 test matches but there is more to it for his spirited performance as the fast bowler ran in for every single spell and clocked 140+ kph when things were not going England’s way. He dismissed Marnus Labuschagne thrice in 4 matches so far who had become England’s nightmare in the last couple of Ashes series.

Wood celebrates the wicket of Pujara on the fourth day at Lord’s (Photo: Getty)
Mark Wood (File) (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto/Popperfoto via Getty Images)

And if his bowling efforts were not enough, he played a very significant cameo of 39 runs in the first innings of the Sydney Test as he took on Australia pace bowling unit to pull and hook them for sixes.

Atherton lauded his spirit with the bat and ball as he pointed out that very few things went in England’s way in the ongoing Ashes and the rise of Mark Wood is among bright spots for England’s future.

“Few have enhanced their reputations here, but Wood is one. Australians love a battler. Wood’s evident spirit and spunk has been plain to see in the furious way he has bowled and in his gung-ho batting here that helped England to get beyond the follow-on mark. The circumstances of this difficult tour have not diminished him,” Michael Atherton wrote in his column for The Times.

However, Atherton pointed out that it would be interesting if he plays in the fifth Test. Only once in his career Wood played 4 test matches in a series which was also an Ashes series in 2015 when he picked 10 wickets in 4 games as England won the series by 3-2 to regain the Ashes.

The Circumstances Of This Difficult Tour Have Not Diminished Mark Wood- Michael Atherton 1
Mark Wood. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Mark Wood played a quick cameo of 39 to help England avoiding the follow-on

“Typically, Australia is a tour that breaks bodies and minds. Who knows what combination they will put out in Hobart, but if Wood plays, it will equal the most he has played in a Test series before and it will be a testament to his physical conditioning. It will also be an indictment of his non-selection in Adelaide when the series was alive,” he stated.

Wood was rested in the second Test at Adelaide for which England team management was criticized heavily as they went with a one-dimensional attack in the pink-ball Test.

Meanwhile, England saved the 4th test match at Sydney as Stuart Broad and James Anderson denied Australia the final wicket to stop the possibility of a whitewash. The 5th and final test match will begin on January 14 at Hobart.

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