England will continue to assess the fitness of Mark Wood after his hopes of playing a central role during the winter were handed a setback in the form of a hip injury that ruled him out of the menT20 World Cup semi-final against India. Not only is the fitness-plagued 32-year-old a doubt for the final in Melbourne on Sunday (November 13), should Jos Buttler side progress, but being available for assignments in the immediate future now looks optimistic. After suffering the issue during the Super 12s win over Sri Lanka, the results of a scan confirmed the injury on the eve of the game at the Adelaide Oval. Chris Jordan was selected in his place for his first appearance in the tournament. Of immediate concern will be the three-Test Pakistan series, England first in the country since 2005-06, starting on December 1 in Rawalpindi.
Not involved in the three-match one-day international series against Australia, the remainder of the Test squad travel to Abu Dhabi on November 18. Wood, who has also expressed concerns over security after former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan was shot in what his supporters say was an assassination attempt, was set to have a central role, particularly in light of the absence of Stuart Broad, who remains at home with his partner due to give birth to their first child. James Anderson, Jamie Overton and Ollie Robinson are the other quicks selected for the tour, with Ben Stokes acting as support. While the former pair have been in Dubai preparing for the series since the weekend, Robinson is set to join up on November 11.
Jofra Archer and Saqib Mahmood are currently in the United Arab Emirates building their fitness after long-term injuries and are due to be joined by Brydon Carse. In early 2023, England are in South Africa for three ODIs and New Zealand for two Tests. It is the latest injury blow to beset the Durham seamer. Across 12 months between 2015 and 2016, he underwent three bouts of surgery on his troubling left ankle and has also suffered from knee and side problems, which forced him to miss the 2019 Ashes series. He didnt play a single game during the entire 2022 summer with elbow issues which required him to go under the knife twice to ensure he was fit for the World Cup.
Credit: Independent News Pakistan-INP