Injured Wood could miss third Test as England ponder changes

By Sports Desk August 17, 2021

Chris Silverwood says "prized asset" Mark Wood could miss the third Test against India as England ponder making changes to their batting line-up at Headingley.

Wood suffered a shoulder injury attempting to prevent a boundary during a dramatic 151-run defeat at Lord's.

The paceman was able to return to the field and bowl but may not be available in Leeds next week when England attempt to hit back from a shattering loss at the Home of Cricket.

Head coach Silverwood said of Wood's fitness: "The medics are working on him. We'll find out more in the next couple of days.

"We will make a decision, along with him and our medics, closer to the time. But if he's not right, he's not right. I certainly won't push him into playing if he tells me he's not right. I will look after him."

England are already without Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Stuart Broad due to injury and Silverwood says they cannot afford to take any chances with Wood.

"What he did for the team, and the effort to bowl at 90mph with a sore shoulder, it just shows how much he cares about the team and how much he cares about playing for England, and how passionate he is," he said.

"It was a superb effort. I'm very proud of him for what he did there. He'll be trying his best to get ready for Leeds, and I will give him every chance to be fit, but at the same time, it is massively important that we look after Woody.

"He is a prized asset. We have found ourselves in the position, when you lose Archer and Stone, we have got one guy left that can bowl that fast."

England crumbled to 120 all out on Monday to go 1-0 down in the five-match series, with Dom Sibley and Rory Burns falling without scoring and Haseeb Hameed only making nine following a first-innings golden duck.

The prospect of Dawid Malan and James Vince being called up was put to Silverwood on Tuesday and he said other options will be discussed.

"I've got to keep my eyes and ears open, and my mind open to all suggestions, and it's certainly something that we'll be talking about this evening in selection, when we all get together," Silverwood said.

"It's not like I'm not in touch with these guys. I've seen them over the various formats and my relationship with these guys is very good. I'm quite close to them so I wouldn't say you can't do it.

"I don't think there is any ideal process out there. We have to make the best of what we've got. It's difficult to bring people in from, say, the Hundred or the Royal London Cup.

"To throw them into Test cricket, we've seen that the pressure is huge in this series. It's being played with a lot of passion, which is great to see, but it is a difficult transition.

"You've got to do what's best for the team, ultimately, and find the best way of progressing England to a place where big first-innings runs – and second-innings runs – come in on a consistent basis."

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