England fast bowler Mark Wood has insisted he still wants to “chase that dream” of playing Test cricket despite being overlooked for a red-ball central contract. The 30-year-old Wood has played just 16 Tests since his debut five years ago, with his subsequent career blighted by three ankle operations. That has led the World Cup winner to contemplate a career as a white-ball specialist, where limitations of 10 or four overs per innings would reduce the strain on his body considerably. The Durham quick featured in just one of England’s six Tests during this year’s home campaign amid competition from the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes.
“I still love playing for England,” said Wood.
“(Not playing Tests) is something in the future I might have to look at; my body, a young family, time away from home — financially, what can I do to help them and spend more time at home?”
“But at the minute, growing up I always wanted to play for England across all formats, and I’m still trying to chase that dream of playing for England and hopefully I can get a few games this year, and prove my worth in all three (formats).”
Now Wood hops to team up with Archer and take on the Proteas duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, after being selected for England’s Twenty20 and one-day series in South Africa later this month.
The other three fast bowlers have been starring in the Indian Premier League, with Wood not involved in this year’s edition.
“Hopefully I can keep up with the battle-hardened players who have been in the IPL,” said Wood.
“To have two England lads in me and Jofra against the two South African lads in the upcoming series is quite exciting, to see how we both combat each other.”
England are meant to play Test cricket again in the New Year, with tours of Sri Lanka and India pencilled into their schedule.
Wood, who took nine for 100 during England’s last away Test against South Africa, could be in contention for both trips.
“Hopefully I can take the chance when it comes,” he said, speaking at an event.
“Previously I have maybe put too much pressure on myself when getting in the team on that one off, get five wickets and keep myself in the team.”
“This time I’m a bit older, bit wiser and I’ll stick to my processes and not put too much pressure on myself to get in the team.”
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