England captain Ben Stokes has spoken about the importance of having Mark Wood in the team ahead of the first Test against India. He said that the fast bowler is a weapon for them and can create an impact for them in Hyderabad.
The first India vs. England Only one dream left before the exam. The match will take place at the Uppal Stadium in Hyderabad from January 25. Ben Stokes’ team has already announced his XI for the match and his combination for the match surprised many.
England came in with three frontline players: Jack Leach, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed. What surprised many was that they chose only one pacer in Mark Wood. But with the kind of skill the fast bowler possesses, he will surely cause problems for the Indian batsmen.
Mark Wood, with his blistering pace, will be vital for England. With shots expected to decline, his raw pace could be a game-changer for his team. However, since he is the only fast bowler in the team, a lot would depend on him as he needs to run a lot.
Ben Stokes, however, is confident Mark Wood can have an impact on the game. He believes that with his pace he can trouble the batsmen. He added that the fast bowler would use a short strategy and bowl fast. Speaking to reporters, he explained (quoted by PTI):
“Obviously, what he brings with his high rhythm… is a true impact generator. Obviously, it will be very difficult to bowl at 90 miles per hour with an inverted ball.
“He’s another weapon you can use here with short, sharp spells, wanting him to bowl as fast as he can and for short spells. There’s no need to worry about these long periods because that’s how we’re going to use it this week.”
I don’t necessarily think he’s bold or brave: Ben Stokes on playing with a fast bowler
Ben Stokes further spoke about his call to play with just one fast bowler. He said he, along with coach Brendon McCullum, looked at the wicket and chose the XI. He elaborated:
“I don’t necessarily think I’m bold or brave. “It’s just me and Baz (McCullum) looking at the wicket and picking the XI that we think will give us the best chance.”
Ben Stokes also spoke about the challenging conditions in India and said that it is an opportunity for the players to take up the challenge. Speaking about the same, he explained:
“I think any team that comes to India is always a tough challenge. We also respect him as a team. But that presents us with an opportunity. This team loves opportunities. We take advantage of every opportunity and run towards it.
“We don’t back down from anything. But yes, India is an incredibly difficult place to win a game of cricket. But I really want to face the challenge.”
With the type of cricket England have played in recent years, it will be an exciting series to watch.