Mark Wood’s Golden opportunity

Setting the context

English Seam bowling has revolved around the duo of Anderson & Broad for more than a decade.

Since both these bowling greats at their twilight of their careers, the focus shifts on a robust succession plan. Succession planning has been quite a debate able subject. There are always multiple facts & figures to go along with that gut feeling. Its about having the enough quantity & right Quality of reserves.

Anderson & Broad in the Twilight of their careers
Anderson & Broad in the Twilight of their careers

Lets take a look couple of the Pace/Seam bowlers who have played for England for quite some time.

Woakes’ Golden run at home

Chris Woakes has been a multi format player for England since last few years. His ability to bat in the lower middle order also gives him a cutting edge.

Woakes Incredible Home Record
Woakes Incredible Home Record

When it comes to Tests, he possess quite an impressive record. After Playing 38 games, he has picked up 112 Wickets at an average as incredible as 29.3 Runs per Wicket. Below Visual will show how has been performing at home particularly

Woakes is force at home averaging just 23 Runs per Wicket in Tests
Woakes is force at home averaging just 23 Runs per Wicket in Tests

As mentioned in the visual, it shows incredible run Woakes has had at home. Played 24 Games & averaging a ruthless 23 Runs per Wicket is mind blowing. He had sustained an injury as mentioned below. This has meant that in the upcoming series against India, he is unavailable at least for the first 2 tests. This of course is a massive blow for England’s Seam bowling reserves.

Wood’s Opportunity

Mark Wood made his debut back in summer of 2015. What’s surprising to note that he has only played 20 Tests since then.

Mark Wood
Mark Wood

Of course this is not entirely on account of performances, it is a mix bag of injuries, other selections, rotation policy etc. Wood in his 20 Tests has picked up 59 wickets at a decent 33.5 Runs per wicket.

Below Visual will represent on how Wood career has spread across last 6 seasons.

Wood hasn't consistently played since his Debut in 2015
Wood hasn’t consistently played since his Debut in 2015

In his Debut year in 2015, he played lot of games at a stretch. However post that he has only featured in an odd game here or there. Below Visual will depict on how Wood has performed at home & away on Tours.

Wood's record away from Home has been quite remarkable with avg of 23.
Wood’s record away from Home has been quite remarkable with avg of 23.

Above visual shows that although he has played 60% of the Games at home, he has been Quite expensive in picking wickets. He has picked wickets at a Bowling average of 42.76 runs per Wicket. This is an extremely high average.

Concluding thoughts

The Golden opportunity which he has this Summer of 2021 is to pull that Bowling average down. But to also stake a claim to be automatic choice in the Playing eleven in coming years. This being said Archer & Woakes are by default choices in the playing eleven so far.

Wood's Avg of 42 against Woakes Avg of 23 at home.
Wood’s Avg of 42 against Woakes Avg of 23 at home.

Strong series against India will help pull the above mentioned Home Average down. Lets wait and watch if Woakes injury exclusion becomes a Golden Opportunity for Mark Wood?