Wood considered giving up Test cricket during injury lay-off

By Sports Desk December 13, 2022

Mark Wood considered giving up Test cricket during his long absence with injury before playing a starring role in England's second Test triumph over Pakistan.

Wood had not played a Test since March because of an elbow injury, but helped inspire England to a 26-run victory in Multan with crucial wickets on the final day that swung a see-saw game back in his team's favour.

The Test was Wood's first under new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with England having now won eight of their nine Tests with that combination at the helm.

After missing the first eight matches of the new leadership's tenure, Wood was delighted to be back involved in the red-ball side after pondering whether to give it up during his time away.

"I desperately wanted to experience this, with Stokesy and Brendon," Wood told reporters. "I'm pleased I stuck with it.

"I wondered if I'd go white-ball only. At some my point my body will say that it's the way to go but I didn't prepare for white-ball, I prepared for all cricket."

Stokes' in-form side became the first England team to win two Tests in a series in Pakistan, and Wood is thrilled with his Durham team-mate's impressive start to life as captain.

"It's weird, the lad I grew up with," Wood added. "Stokesy now is much more mature.

"He speaks so well – he's always had a fantastic cricket brain. But the way he comes across, the way he conducts himself and the messages that he gives, he's just so much more rounded than when we were growing up.

"He was this alpha guy who would whack it, never back down. He's still got all that, but he's got other sides to him now. He'll put an arm round people, express what he means really articulately.

"He's been world-class, to be fair."

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