Ashes: England pace bowler Mark Wood wants to ‘stick one up’ Australia

Mark Wood
Mark Wood took the wicket that sealed England’s Ashes series win in 2015

England pace bowler Mark Wood says he would “love to stick one up” Australia in the upcoming Ashes series.

“It’s one of the biggest things I can think about. Winning in Australia would be one of the biggest achievements of my career,” he said.

“The World Cup was huge, we’ve won the Ashes at home, but to go there…”

Speaking on the BBC’s Project Ashes podcast, the 31-year-old added: “To come up against this ‘baggy green’ thing that they keep talking about.

“We’ll be having our baggy blues on and I’d love to stick one up them.”

The first of the five Tests begins in Brisbane on 8 December. England are looking to regain the urn that Australia retained with a 2-2 draw in the UK two years ago.

Wood was in his first year as an England cricketer when he bowled Australia’s Nathan Lyon in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge to give Alastair Cook’s home side an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Wood played in the fifth Test at the The Oval, but injuries meant he missed the series in Australia in 2017-18 and again in England in 2019.

“I’ve got a huge desire, a burning fire to prove people wrong there,” said Wood, who has taken 64 wickets in 21 Tests.

“They’ve got a battery of fast bowling, top quicks, so I’m hoping I can match them, or even better, and be part of the squad that brings the Ashes home.

“Watching as a kid, we never seemed to do that well down under. I looked up to Darren Gough when he got all those wickets and thought ‘wow, I’d love to be able to do that’. My big pal Steve Harmison bowled that wide and he’s remembered for that.

“It’s a great place to tour, even if it is full of Australians.”

With Jofra Archer and Olly Stone missing because of injuries, Wood is the only out-and-out fast bowler in an England squad that will once again be tested by the pace of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

Brisbane and Perth are traditionally venues that offer extra pace and bounce for the the fast bowlers, even if Perth’s historic Waca has given way to the new Optus Stadium.

“I’m probably not the first name on the team sheet, so I have a point to prove there, and I’ve got a point to prove to the Australians that I am a good bowler,” said Wood.

“I’d love to bowl at Brisbane and the Waca. They are the two places you think, as a fast bowler, that’s where the ball will fly through.

“To play anywhere would be fantastic, but as a fast bowler you really want to sink your teeth into Brisbane and Perth.”

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