ISLAMABAD: England’s Mark Wood has been ruled out of the Bindi Test from December 1, with England manager Brendon McCollum hoping to get him fit and ready for the second Test of the three-match series against Pakistan.
Wood has yet to recover from the hip injury he received during the T20 World Cup. Injury forced him to miss the semi-final and final of the event, which England eventually won.
“Wood has been ruled out of the first Test due to the injury he picked up during the World Cup. We hope to get Wood fit and ready for the second Test. The rest of the squad are fine and available for selection for the second Test,” McCollum, the England coach, said during a media talk at Pendy Stadium on Monday. Playing in the starting lineup.
The team coach was excited to see Pindi’s field track ready for the inaugural test, but wasn’t sure if it would stay that way early Thursday morning. “We saw the pitch today and it looked good. But you never know what it’s going to be like before the first Test starts.”
The England head coach didn’t seem keen on continuing his team’s traditional attacking cricket in this series. “Wherever we have the opportunity to carry on our traditional style of cricket, we do it because boys are used to playing such cricket. But it all depends on the situation at a particular time. It all depends on the demands of that particular day.”
McCollum praised the talent available in the Pakistan squad when asked about the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi from the series. “I’ve played PSL with Shaheen for many years. He’s a fantastic sage and Pakistan will surely miss him. However, the Pakistan team is full of talented cricketers – albeit not groomed to their full potential. Still a very good team, full of experience and energy. The bowlers’ brilliance “The Pakistanis will be a difficult proposition for us to deal with. But we are ready for the occasion. We have a good competitive streak on our hands.”
The touring team coach promised exciting and positive cricket. “We are here to entertain the people and give our best keeping in mind the demands of the circumstances. Test cricket is sure to lose its charm but our efforts will be with the fans and offering the best value for their stay at the stadium.”
He had a special sympathy for the young Pakistani generation who had been absent from international cricket for years. “An entire generation has grown up without witnessing the best talent the country has produced in recent times. We are now here to play the best game of cricket to entertain them. We would love to play to a full house at Bendy. There has been a packed crowd in England lately. Hopefully things will be alright.” It is in Pakistan.”
McCollum wasn’t prepared to predict how big a target he would be to win Test matches here. “It all depends on the paths of play and the ability of the hitting line to adapt to conditions as soon as possible.” The England coach is hopeful he can end up winning the series.
“It is never easy to play in conditions you are not used to but that is what competitive cricket is all about. You have to perform in such a condition as to surprise your opponents and I think my boys are ready for that.”