Mark Wood’s mantra is simple — keep running in ball after ball and bowl with as much pace as possible.
No slowing down for Wood
Most fast bowlers slow down in their third or fourth spells of the day in test cricket, but Mark Wood is different. He will bowl the last ball of the third session as quickly as he does the first ball of the first session.
This is what sets him apart. Along with Olly Stone and Jofra Archer, Mark Wood is one of the tearaway bowlers that England are banking on for raw pace.
Carrying the attack
With both Olly Stone and Jofra Archer more injury ridden than Wood, it is generally the bowler with the Geordie accent who has had to do the heavy lifting for the team of late.
Even in the first match of Ashes 2021-22, Mark Wood kept running in and bowling as fast as he could in a bowling attack in which only Ollie Robinson could match him for the threat posed to the batters.
Mark Wood bowled more than 25 overs of extreme pace in the first innings and was awarded 3 wickets for his efforts.
From the horse’s mouth
Here, Mark Wood explains how he gets his pace. Listen in from the man himself.
“As a kid, I used to bowl little away-swingers, medium-pacers. But I had a little growth spurt when I was 16, and the year after that I put on a little bit of pace, and then I developed my action a bit – I was someone who used to be very side-on which allowed us to hoop the ball, but as I got naturally stronger I did some work to straighten my action up a bit, and I put on another yard of pace. That whippy delivery, I’ve always had it, and I’ve had to rely on that because I’m not very tall. That skiddy style is what makes me different.”
“People mention Allan Donald, the way he used to bowl. Apparently my front knee, which is braced when I deliver, is very similar to his, but mine actually hyper-extends back towards the floor, so I guess that allows for the flexibility. And it’s timing as well – I’ve got this whippy arm, but the longer I can delay my arm coming over, and apparently mine has quite a delay, the more speed it generates. You’ve gotta get in a battle with the batsman. It’s no good being a friendly fast bowler.”