Wood in line to replace Anderson

2015-08-05 18:06
Mark Wood (File)

Nottingham - Durham quick Mark Wood is set to replace James Anderson in the England team for Thursday's potentially decisive fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Trent Bridge, according to skipper Alastair Cook.

Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, has been ruled out of Thursday's match in Nottingham with a side strain suffered in their eight-wicket win over Australia in the third Test at Edgbaston last week.

That victory left England 2-1 up in the five-match series and on the brink of regaining the Ashes.

Although England have added Liam Plunkett and the uncapped Mark Footitt to their squad, Wood appears set for a recall.

Wood played in the first two Tests of this series before concerns over an ankle injury saw him left out of the side at Edgbaston - a match where fast bowler Steven Finn marked his return to the team after two years out with a Test best six for 79 in Australia's second innings.

England captain Cook insisted on Wednesday that Wood was fit to play.

"It looks really good for Woody. He seems to have come through training pretty well," said Cook.

"Everything he's been asked to do he's come through with flying colours.

"He's really excited for the opportunity he's got.

"He'll have a last check in the morning but, yes, we've got everyone to select from."

Some pundits have suggested that the loss of Anderson, with 413 Test wickets behind him, is comparable to the ankle trouble suffered by Glenn McGrath in 2005 when England won the Ashes by winning both the Tests the Australian paceman missed.

"I can't talk about Glenn McGrath as I never captained or played with him," said Cook.

"He is obviously the best seamer who played the game. He was a big miss for them and Jimmy is a big miss for us -- he gives you attacking options and control.

"But I said at the end of Edgbaston there was no point moaning about that. Injuries to fast bowlers happen. He has had a fantastic run and it is a great opportunity for whoever is picked to take on that mantle."

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  ashes  |  cricket

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