Pakistan v England: Mark Wood doubtful for first Pakistan Test

The Durham quick will not join up with the full squad until this weekend after missing the warm-up match with England Lions in Abu Dhabi, having been given two weeks off following the T20 World Cup

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Mark Wood is likely to miss the first Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi.

Currently in the UK recovering from a hip injury suffered during the victorious T20 World Cup campaign, the England and Durham fast bowler will only join up with the rest of the squad this weekend.

Just days out from the start of the series on December 1 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, it is expected that England won’t consider Wood for selection.

The Daily Telegraph and ESPNCricinfo report that central to the decision is the lack of overs bowled by 32-year-old ahead of the Test. He hasn’t played since the World Cup Super 12 win over Sri Lanka, missing the India semi-final through injury and not being risked in the Pakistan final.

The third day of England’s warm-up match against the Lions in Abu Dhabi was shelved, with players instead participating in a non-compulsory two-hour training session.

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Wood’ suffered a hip problem during the T20 World Cup (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

It means large most of the squad head into the Test with just 156 overs under their belts, though not captain Ben Stokes who skipped the game following the T20 World Cup success.

“At the end of yesterday we went around our group and we asked where everyone was at and what they felt like they needed,” he explained.

“Sometimes with the warm-up games you can get into the last day of that and it becomes a thankless task, and don’t get out of it what you really wanted to. I thought the first two days was really good.

“It’s all about peaking at the right time and the message at the start of the camp was to build up towards two days before that Test and still have something left in the tank to get going because you don’t want to burn yourself out now and almost be ready a week too early.

“I looked at this fixture here in particular and honestly thought I’d get more out of these three days of training.

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Stokes didn’t feature in the warm-up match in Abu Dhabi (Luke Walker/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

“Getting my bowling workloads back up again after having a break after the World Cup in particular. I like working on my skills in the nets rather than being out there in the middle.

“I’ve really benefited from these three days definitely and just because I’ve missed this game I don’t feel like I’ve missed a trick or feel underprepared. We’ve still got three days out in Pakistan to prepare for the first test

“We’re a group where we like to give the individuals what they want to do rather than forcing them into doing something, but letting them take care of themselves because they all know what they need to be ready for that first Test.”

Harry Brook has been absent from the group after being given a fortnight off after the World Cup, meaning he has just a few days to stake a claim to be involved in Rawalpindi.

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Livingstone has been struggling with an ankle problem (Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Though Stokes appears to be resisting adding another fast bowler to the squad – an indication Wood’s absence may be short-lived – but 18-year-old Rehan Ahmed’s promotion to the main group has increased competition for places with Will Jacks and Liam Livingstone also battling it out for a Test debut.

Livingstone has been struggling with a sore ankle but batted in England’s innings and bowled eight overs, taking 2 for 80, in Abu Dhabi.

“There’s no injury within the group which is great – the first time in a while, so that’s good,” Stokes clarified.

“We’ve had a few lads on the Test tour be out here with the Lions a couple of weeks before we met up.

“It’s all about peaking at the right time and the message at the start of the camp was to build up towards two days before that Test, and still have something left in the tank to get going because you don’t want to burn yourself out now and almost be ready a week too early.”


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