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England pacer Mark Wood ruled out of Sri Lanka tour; replacement announced

Saqib Mahmood, whose style of bowling is ideally suited to subcontinental conditions is a welcome edition.

Mark Wood
Mark Wood. (Photo Source: Twitter)

England Test team have been dealt with another body blow with regards to their upcoming two-match series in Sri Lanka after premier fast bowler Mark Wood was ruled out of the rubber due to a side-strain.

The Durham man had just returned from the same injury during England’s winter tour of South Africa where he played back-to-back Tests and played a key role [12 wickets at an average of 13.58] in England winning the four-match series 3-1. Wood was then rested for the ODI series before going on to play the three-match T20I series.

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Wood’s injury means England will be without the services of James Anderson (injured), Jofra Archer (injured) and now the Durham paceman, with Stuart Broad being the only experienced fast bowler in the mix. That said Saqib Mahmood, whose style of bowling is ideally suited to subcontinental conditions is a welcome edition.

Mark Wood’s injury is a blessing in disguise: Steve Harmison

With the spinners expected to be the key weapons in Sri Lanka, former England fast bowler Steve Harmison feels Wood’s injury is, in fact, a blessing in disguise with a long home summer coming up for the Three Lions where they’ll play host to West Indies, Australia, Pakistan, and Ireland.

“Playing back-to-back Tests in South Africa and then the limited-overs matches was always going to be a tough ask. I wonder if they’d have done that if Jofra Archer had been fit?”However, it won’t be the worst thing in the world missing out on the Sri Lanka series with their spin-friendly pitches,” Steven Harmison said as quoted by TalkSport.

He added, “Rather than carrying drinks or bowling on flat tracks, it’s best for Mark to get himself ready for the summer and for the World T20. With an Ashes series at the end of next year and his brilliant record in short-form cricket, England will be desperate to have Wood in Australia for the T20 World Cup. And so missing Sri Lanka might end up being a good thing.”

Meanwhile, England will hope to emulate their 2018 heist when they beat the island nation 3-0 in their own den when they take on the Lankans in the two Test matches in Galle [March 19-23] and Colombo [March 27-31].

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