Mark Wood hopes he and fellow paceman Jofra Archer can “ruffle a few feathers” together as England prepare to field one of the quickest new-ball pairings in their one-day history.
Wood will make his first competitive appearance in over two months in Friday’s fourth one-day international against Pakistan, finally deemed ready for action after familiar concerns over his left ankle.
The 29-year-old has been kept on the shelf ever since a transformational tour of the West Indies, during which he hit fierce speeds touching 95mph.
Newcomer Archer has consistently topped the 90mph barrier since his arrival in England colours earlier this month and the duo are set to take the field together at Trent Bridge.
“It’ll be good to have two pace lads in at the same time and see if we can really ruffle a few feathers,” said the Durham quick.
“He’s just so natural the way he runs in, just lets it fly. I couldn’t believe how far Jos (Buttler, wicketkeeper) was stood back to him at the Oval.
“I have to put every ounce of effort I’ve got to bowl fast and he seems to do it easily, which is a bit frustrating. It’s going to be exciting when I get a go at the other end, they’ll probably think I’m bowling 70mph or something.”
England will continue to rotate their XI in Nottingham, with opener Jonny Bairstow joining seamers Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett in being rested. That means another chance for James Vince at the top of the innings and, in all likelihood, another chance for all-rounder Joe Denly to make his case.
Captain Eoin Morgan will also sit out after earning a one-game ban for overseeing a slow over-rate during Tuesday’s victory in Bristol.
His absence would be a body blow in the tournament proper but in this instance his deputy Buttler should be a safe pair of hands.
“Obviously, Eoin’s the leader on the field and the main guy in the dressing room. It’s a big loss because he’s our captain, our leader, but I’m sure Jos can do just as well,” Wood said.
“Jos still has a wealth of experience so it’s great to have him. The only difference is rather than the captain coming up to you from extra cover the wicketkeeper will be running all the way down the wicket and back so we’ll have to watch that over rate again.”
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that scorecards for the forthcoming World Cup have been redesigned to allow for totals up to 500 – which was once unthinkable.
As a member of the bowling fraternity it may make Wood shudder, but he agrees that landmark is now within sight.
“I think the England team have set a standard. I truly think we believe 500 is gettable one day,” he said.
“The scores of 400 just seem almost normal, it’s 300 plus every game, 350… who’d want to be a bowler, ay?”