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Mark Wood to shadow England Test team against South Africa as he builds fitness for T20 World Cup

Mark Wood to shadow England Test team against South Africa as he builds fitness for T20 World Cup


ark Wood is set to shadow England’s Test team during the series against South Africa that starts next week as he looks to build up his fitness for October’s T20 World Cup.

Wood, 32, has been out since March, when he suffered an elbow injury in the first Test of the tour of the Caribbean.

The road to recovery has been long and often frustrating, but it is hoped he has now turned a corner and is expected to be fit for the World Cup, where he will be welcomed back in the absence of other England quicks such as Jofra Archer and Saqib Mahmood, who have both had stress fractures of the back this year.

Wood suffered a setback after playing club cricket for Ashington last month, and required a second operation. But he has made good progress since then, and joined the likes of Jimmy Anderson in a session at Loughborough this week.

He will be with the Test team as he slowly builds up his workload under the supervision of England’s medical staff, with the World Cup – and the T20 series in Australia that precedes it – the target.

Anderson, 40, and Stuart Broad, 36, are being carefully managed as they will head into Wednesday’s first Test – where they are set to be joined by Matt Potts in the attack – having not played since England’s last Test, at the beginning of July.

In recent years, both men (Anderson in 2019, Broad in 2021) have suffered series-ending muscle injuries in the first match of a series, but due to The Hundred there has been no first-class cricket in the last fortnight.

With Jamie Overton joining the injured ranks, Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson are the other bowlers in England’s Test squad. Robinson and Overton are today trying to bowl out South Africa and secure victory for England Lions at Canterbury.

After the Lions racked up 672 (at 5.74 an over), a lead of 233 on first innings, South Africa closed on 59 for three, with two wickets for Robinson and one for Overton.

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