England in Pakistan 2022-23 – World Cup Mark Wood in doubt for first Test after hip injury

England fast bowler Mark Wood’s participation in the first Test against Pakistan is doubtful.

Wood is in the UK recovering from a hip injury sustained during England’s successful T20 World Cup campaign and will join up with the Test squad in Rawalpindi this weekend. Although the injury ruled the 32-year-old out of the semi-final against India, he was fit to play in the final against Pakistan before it was decided not to risk selection for such a high-profile match. Understood.

His recovery is said to be going well. However, with just three training days to go before the series kicks off on December 1, it looks like they will be able to get the much-needed number of overs to prepare themselves for the rigors of the Test match.

Wood returned to international duty in Pakistan during the T20Is after missing the summer of 2022, and showed the difference in his form with six wickets at 7.33 from two appearances in the seven-match series. How important speed was. He carried that form into the World Cup, taking nine wickets at 12.00 in four matches, bowling the fastest spell and even going with the fastest delivery of the tournament – New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips clocked at 154.74 kmph. delivery

Wood’s absence from this winter’s Abu Dhabi leg, where the squad warms up with the England Lions ahead of their first Test series in Pakistan for 17 years, is unrelated to his injury. Both he and Yorkshire batsman Harry Brooke were given two weeks to rest at home after the World Cup as they were included in all three first-team squads (Pakistan T20I, World Cup, Pakistan Test) before the end of the year. There were only two players.

Speaking on Friday after the final day of England’s warm-up match, which was switched to a two-hour training session, England captain Ben Stokes was optimistic about Wood’s fitness and said there was no cover draft in the squad. will be done

“No, we’re sticking to it,” Stokes said. “We are not going to call another seamer in this group.

“We decided to let Brooke and Woody spend that time at home, obviously in Pakistan and the World Cup,” Stokes said. “We felt a week at home would be more beneficial for them, just to recharge their batteries, and obviously with Woody’s injury, to go home and be with his wife and kid. Better to stay out here and do all the maintenance he can do at home.

“We’ve let them go home. I haven’t had much contact with them, just to let them rest and relax. From all reports, Woody is coming along well and we’ll see when he gets out here. So how is he?”

An addition to the original party of 15 is Rehan Ahmed. The leg-spinning all-rounder was part of the Lions side, and was officially called up to the main squad on Wednesday. Director of Cricket Rob Kay revealed on Thursday that this was the intention all along.

It was a huge show of confidence in an 18-year-old with just three first-class matches to his name, but those at the ECB, particularly performance director Mo Bobbitt, are confident he is ready for the next step.

Clearly the Stoics feel the same way. When asked if Ahmed would have any problems picking him in the XI this winter, he replied bluntly: “No, not at all. Let them experiment and add him”.

“Obviously, he’s not the full article yet, but we feel with someone – the way he bowls, the way he bats – it’s good for him to bring him into that environment. Will do. Being with all the senior players and getting. Working with the best coaches in the world, in my opinion, just does the world of good for him.

“I don’t think it should be seen as a lot of pressure on his shoulders. I think it should be seen as a great opportunity for a young guy to come into this environment, and be able to do that. And then hopefully who knows where the next two or three years will take him.

Stokes himself has been stepping it up since the World Cup. He did not take part in the first two days of the match between the Test squad and the England Lions, opting instead to bowl in the middle of the nets during the intervals.

“I looked at this fixture here in particular, and honestly thought I’d get the most out of those three days of training,” Stokes said. “Especially getting my bowling workload back after the break after the World Cup. I prefer to work on my skills in the nets rather than in the middle. I have really benefited from these three days, Certainly, and just because I missed that game, I don’t feel like I missed a trick or felt underprepared. We have a lot of preparation in Pakistan for the first Test. There are still three days left.

Liam Livingstone has been dealing with an ankle problem this week. But after bowling eight overs in the field on Thursday, as well as a few more dismissals in the middle during the break, Stokes was happy to report a clean bill of health.

“There are no injuries in the group which is great – the first time in a while, so that’s good. We’ve got a couple of guys on the test tour with the Lions a couple of weeks before the meet. It’s just about peaking at the right time. “The message around and at the start of camp was to get ready two days before this test, and still have something left in the tank, because you don’t want to burn yourself out and get ready about a week early.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo.

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