Ashes 2021-22: Wood expects England response after frank Silverwood evaluation

By Sports Desk December 22, 2021

Mark Wood expects a response from England after stern words from Chris Silverwood and a discussion among senior players following their poor start in the Ashes.

Joe Root's side have been comfortably outplayed by Australia in the opening two Tests, most recently succumbing to a 275-run defeat in Adelaide after a nine-wicket loss in Brisbane.

Another crushing blow at the Adelaide Oval leaves England needing a minor miracle to overturn a 2-0 series deficit, the tourists now without a win in 12 Tests in Australia – their joint-longest run Down Under (also 12 between January 1937 to February 1951).

The third Test starts in Melbourne on December 25 and Wood hopes an in-depth chat between players, and an honest evaluation from Silverwood, after defeat in the second Test will leave England in better shape.

"We obviously review the game, chat about what we did well, what we didn't do well, but this time it was sterner from Chris Silverwood," Wood said.

"To hear [Chris Silverwood] speak like that – not because he's under pressure or anything – but to hear him speak like that rather than just being his usual coaching self, he was actually annoyed and wanted a change.

"Hopefully it comes at the right time for us to catch a spark.

"Stokesy [Ben Stokes] and Joe Root spoke to the group about… basically a bit of a kick up the bum saying 'this isn't good enough'.

"We've talked in-depth about how things can get better. Not just words or cliched words, we actually set out what we're going to do in Melbourne practice-wise, what we're going to do differently."

 

Wood did not feature in Adelaide despite impressing in the opening Test, with Stuart Broad and James Anderson leading the tourists' bowling attack in the latter pink-ball outing.

Right-arm paceman Wood is expected to return for the next Test to offer Root an alternate option to his attack after the England captain criticised his bowlers' lengths.

Root provided a scathing summary earlier in the week as he claimed his bowlers "needed to be braver" and had repeated mistakes from four years ago, but Wood believes his captain's words did not come across in "the way he totally wanted" to.

Wood added: "I don't think there's any friction between the bowlers and the captain. It's not like that at all."

Nevertheless, it is now or never heading into Saturday and the Durham quick believes England can still change their fortunes around.

"We've got to believe we can turn this round," Wood said. "We haven't shown our best stuff yet. We know that Australia have played really well. If we can match them then we believe we can win Test matches here.

"We've just got to up our game in all three areas. At the minute, Australia have scored 400 twice, we've had batting collapses and we've dropped catches.

"We've got facets of the game that need major work. We've now got a couple of days to stop thinking about cricket, get away in Melbourne and enjoy the lead-up to Christmas."

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