England Desperate To Beat Arch-Rivals Australia, Says Mark Wood
England pacer Mark Wood has said the team is desperate to beat Australia in their upcoming three-match T20I and ODI series. The first T20 is to be played here on Friday.
"It's always good when you play for England -- don't get me wrong -- but there's an extra incentive when you play Australia -- your biggest rivals," Sky Sports quoted Wood as telling reporters.
"They're desperate to beat you; you're desperate to beat them. It doesn't matter if it's Ashes, white-ball, T20; we'll be desperate to beat them."
Wood thanked Australia for making the trip to the United Kingdom despite the COVID-19 scare.
"Full credit to them for coming over; we've given huge credit to the West Indies and Pakistan, so I think we've got to say well done to Australia as well for putting in the time and effort to come across here in uncertain times," he said.
"They'll not just be here to make up the numbers; they'll be doing everything they can. They've already had a couple of practise games with each other and when we turned up yesterday, they were smashing the ball everywhere.
"I don't know if they were doing it deliberately to try and scare us, but I'll be out to try and stop that as much as I can and stop Australia winning."
Wood has not played a lot of cricket lately, with his appearance in the very first Test match against the West Indies in early July being the only time he played this summer.
"I hoped I would play more, after the winter, but it wasn't to be. The lads that played did well and it was hard for me to force myself in," Wood said.
"I asked the question after the last game: what do I need to improve on? What do I need to get better at to get in the team? They said that my training and how I was around the team, they were happy with how I was going about things. It was just a 50-50 call and they went the other way, without me."
Wood said one has to work hard all the time.
"It's frustrating; you don't want to be the guy that is easily dropped all the time but there's nothing more you can do. You've just got to keep working hard. I actually think I bowled okay the first game; I didn't think I bowled badly, I just think my luck could've been slightly different. If you get more wickets, you might keep your spot," he said.
"I'm still in a pretty positive frame of mind: two Test matches ago, I was man of the match for England in Johannesburg."