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T20 World Cup: Mark Wood says England have ‘no excuses’ despite

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Mark Wood says there will be “no excuses” from England following a frustrating preparation period for the T20 World Cup.

Two of the first three Vitality Blast international series encounters against Pakistan – at Headingley and Cardiff – were abandoned without a ball being bowled.

England managed a 23-run victory at Edgbaston in the second game, and they will be hoping for a weather break – with rain expected again – in Thursday’s series finale at the Kia Oval.

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Moeen Ali will captain England in the third T20 against Pakistan in Cardiff with Jos Buttler absent, while Jofa Archer could be rested

Wood and company then head to the West Indies ahead of their World Cup opener against Scotland in Barbados on June 4, live on Sky Sports.

“Obviously, it’s not ideal when you schedule four games and we might only get one or two,” fast bowler Wood said. “A few of the lads are keen to get a run out at the Oval, so that will help. It will give confidence to everyone in the group.

Thursday 30th May 6:00pm


“It was a good game the other day against Pakistan. They looked like they were pushing us really close, and might have got there in the end if it wasn’t for such good bowling and shutting the game out from (Reece) Topley, (Chris) Jordan and (Jofra) Archer.

“Yes, we have got experience, but warm-up games always give you a sense of different things you can tinker with. Who is in good form? Who needs to work on other things? Some lads have been playing at the IPL and they are match-ready. Other lads haven’t, and the lads that haven’t, is there a freshness?

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England were triumphant in the second T20 clash against Pakistan, winning by 23 runs.

“You want the games to practise stuff, but it is a fine balance. One or two of us might feel like we need a game or two to get going, but there will be no excuses.

“It is coming round thick and fast. Whatever preparation we get, that is what we are going to have to go with.”

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Could Wood and Archer lead England’s attack?

England’s undoubted highlight of the Pakistan series has been Wood’s fellow quick Jofra Archer returning to international cricket.

Archer claimed two wickets at Edgbaston on his first international appearance for 14 months. He had not played for his country on English soil since 2020 after an injury-hit few years troubled by repeated issues with his right elbow.

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Nasser Hussain and Eoin Morgan discuss what the expectations are on Jofra Archer, and how to use him best throughout the World Cup.

Wood added: “The mark of Jofra is that he is always in the game, always at people. There is always a chance of wickets and him changing the game.

“He bowled that difficult over – that sixth over is a tough one, it is the last over of the powerplay where the batters are looking to score heavy, and I am sure he would have been nervous.

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Jofra Archer’s return to international cricket for the first time since March 2023 saw him smash a huge six and pick up two wickets.

“He is a pretty cool guy, and as soon as he got that over out of the way he would have settled into the game. To bowl those next three overs for next to nothing shows a great deal of resilience, which is something he has had to show over the past few years.”

Asked about potentially partnering Archer as part of England’s World Cup attack, Wood said: “I honestly have no idea. That’s a question for the management. But I have played with Jofra before, and I don’t see it’s like me or him. I don’t see why we can’t play together.

Jofra Archer (Getty Images)
Image:
Jofra Archer impressed on his return to international action

“We played together at the 2019 World Cup and things went pretty well. I don’t see why we can’t play in the same team, but maybe it is up to the management to manage our bodies and see how we get through the tournament.”

Watch the fourth and final T20 between England and Pakistan live on Thursday from 6pm on Sky Sports Cricket (first ball at 6.30pm). Every match from the T20 World Cup is live on Sky Sports between June 1-29, with England’s first match is against Scotland in Barbados on Tuesday June 4 (3.30pm UK and Ireland time).

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