Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wood: It'll Be a Whole New Ball Game Now; Seamer's Sights on Early Wickets

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Wood: It'll Be a Whole New Ball Game Now; Seamer's Sights on Early Wickets

Article excerpt

ENGLAND seamer Mark Wood is banking on the new ball keeping hopes of a record Ashes scoreline alive at the Kia Oval. Having secured the urn with a game to spare in Nottingham, England are desperate for the win which would make it 4-1 - a margin they have never before managed on home soil.

Yet Australia made that scenario less likely by showing the kind of concentration and judgement conspicuously lacking in their three-day defeats at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

Having been inserted under cloudy skies they posted 287 for three, David Warner (85) and Steve Smith (78no) making the major contributions.

The second new Dukes is available after just two deliveries of the second day and Wood left little doubt it represented the hosts' best chance of reclaiming the initiative.

The Durham paceman said: "With the overheads this morning it was the right decision to bowl.

"It was a tough day of Test cricket but I thought we bowled all right as a group.

"Nicks didn't carry, we just didn't get the wickets, now we've got that second new ball round the corner. We have to try to take early wickets tomorrow to stay in this game and try to win it.

"If we could have taken a couple more wickets in that last session I'd have said it was an even day - but you never know, if we get two or three early then we could grab that momentum back."

Wood, making just his sixth Test appearance, rebuffed without hesitation suggestions Alastair Cook's side had eased off having already achieved their primary goal of regaining the Ashes.

He added: "This is the Ashes and you're representing your country. We have that desire to win 4-1, which I think would be a huge moment for English cricket.

"If it was the other way round Australia wouldn't let up, so we can't take our foot off the gas."

While Australia's captain-in-waiting Smith and his soon-to-be deputy Warner enjoyed productive days it was another forgettable outing for retiring skipper Michael Clarke. …

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