MARK WOOD believes he could bring raw pace into England’s bowling attack despite lacking the powerlifter’s physique of West Indies paceman Shannon Gabriel.
The Durham fast bowler is in contention for a recall for the third Test in St Lucia next week when England will be looking to salvage pride after being thrashed in both Tests so far.
‘I haven’t got Shannon Gabriel’s muscles but maybe I could bowl as quick as him,’ said 29-year-old Wood. ‘I still think I can.’
Wood believes it would be harsh for England to change their bowling attack when the most glaring deficiencies in the tourists’ performances have come from the batsmen. However, Gabriel has been the most menacing bowler on either side, with a fastest ball of 94mph, while none of the tourists have hit 90.
Wood believes he showed on his last England appearance, a one-day international defeat in October, that he can provide the team with some much-needed extra pace.
‘The one game I played in Sri Lanka in October, the speed gun was high,’ he said. ‘You would have to ask our batters, but it feels like it’s coming out alright. We’ll be able to see if I play.’ Wood sees pace as his chance of adding to his 12 Test caps — the last won against Pakistan nine months ago — in Gros Islet on Saturday.
‘If you recognise we have missed pace and that’s an issue, I think I’ve got a chance,’ he added.
‘I think it’s very harsh to leave a bowler out when it’s the batting that’s failed but that always seems to be the case, doesn’t it? The batting’s not quite firing, so maybe we’ll change a bowler. The bowlers’ union and the batting union are slightly split at the minute!’
Wood is quick to dismiss the notion of tensions in the camp, insisting the opposite is true, with players teaming up after net sessions to share insights into each other’s games.
The bowler is a regular in the limited-overs squad over the past four years but even with a home World Cup around the corner, does not want to be restricted to the white-ball game. ‘I would never give up my hope of playing Test cricket,’ he said.