'Mark Wood bowling futile overs is madness' - Steve Harmison, Mark Butcher slam Joe Root's tactics during 4th Ashes Test

‘Mark Wood bowling futile overs is madness’ – Steve Harmison, Mark Butcher slam Joe Root’s tactics during 4th Ashes Test

Mark Wood has been prone to injuries.

Joe Root and Mark Wood
Joe Root and Mark Wood. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

England pacer Mark Wood has been prone to injuries and thus, managing his workload is crucial for his skipper. The pacer has been in and out of the playing XI in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 as well. Hence, several fans and experts were surprised to see him bowl long spells during Australia’s second innings in the recently-concluded fourth Test.

For the unversed, the 31-year-old has played in three of the four Tests so far and bowled a total of 86.4 overs. Only James Anderson and Ollie Robinson have bowled more for England in the series so far. The speedster, who’s known to set the speed-gun on fire, has certainly bowled well in this series, having scalped eight wickets.

However, former England cricketers Steve Harmison and Mark Butcher aren’t happy with the way skipper Joe Root handled Wood in the fourth Test. The pacer continued to bowl late in Australia’s second innings when Usman Khawaja and Cameron were pressing towards a declaration on Day 4. With Wood having a history with injuries, Root’s tactic was called crazy by Butcher.

Mark Wood bowling late in Australia’s innings is crazy: Mark Butcher

“I think this is crazy, Mark Wood hurtling in here, I really do. He’s not exactly been less expensive than Jack Leach was, and the risk of damaging him before the final Test match at Hobart, bowling futile overs at the back-end of this innings is just madness to me,” Butcher said while commentating on BT Sport.

“We’ve talked about Joe’s captaincy and fielding positions and things that have been labelled at Joe, and I’ve stuck up for him a little bit,” added Harmison. Notably, Wood bowled a total of 15 overs, more than both James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

“You talk about fielding positions for Leach, it’s about how the bowler bowls. But some decisions are baffling, and to have your strike bowler bowling overs when they’re setting up a declaration, when they’ve got a bit of an injury track record and background anyway, I just think it’s madness,” said Harmison further.

Meanwhile, the game ended in a draw and hence, the series remains 3-0 in favour of Australia. The final Test will get underway next week in Hobart.