West Indies are on top but we can fight back, says Wood

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport | First Test - By Tim Wig­more

Eng­land quick bowler Mark Wood ad­mit­ted that the West Indies were on top as they closed day two on 57 for one, only 147 runs be­hind Eng­land’s 204 all out.

“They’ve done re­ally well and showed us the way to go,” Wood said. “We were in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion in the first in­nings and now we’ve got a chance to make it right, like they did.”

Af­ter be­gin­ning the sec­ond day on 35 for one, Eng­land col­lapsed to 87 for five be­fore a 67-run stand be­tween Ben Stokes and Jos But­tler. But when the pair were dis­missed by Ja­son Holder, who took six for 42, Eng­land sub­sided to 204 all out, leav­ing them in a per­ilous po­si­tion af­ter West Indies made an as­sured start to their in­nings.

“The long game plan was to get runs on the board, then in the fourth in­nings here it spins and can go up and down. That’s where we are, they are on top, we have a chance to make it right in the morn­ing,” Wood said. “We would have liked 300, 250, so we’re a lit­tle bit short. We can’t change that now. We can only af­fect how it goes.

“There was a lit­tle rusti­ness there and once we get rid of that and put things right we’re hop­ing we can stay in the game.”

Wood said that Eng­land’s bowlers had to learn from the ap­proach of Holder and the rest of the West Indies at­tack. “Their lengths were a touch fuller, if we can get some move­ment in the morn­ing we need to be that touch fuller.

“Holder bowled very well, he tested the tech­nique of our play­ers, made them play, very con­sis­tent. He didn’t change away from what he was do­ing and was con­sis­tent.

“We have our own as­sets and two of those are bowl­ing fast, so it’s about get­ting rid of our rusti­ness, hon­ing in on off stump, with the odd bouncer, and go­ing from there.”

The sun­shine fore­cast for the next two days at the Ageas Bowl,

af­ter two days marred by rain and bad light, could give West Indies the chance to build a sub­stan­tial lead and con­trol the match.

Holder de­clared “my Test match is far from over” af­ter pro­duc­ing his best bowl­ing dis­play in Tests.

“It’s a proud mo­ment get­ting six wick­ets in Eng­land. Any­thing to help this team. My role is to con­trib­ute with bat and ball. It’s on the back of a won­der­ful bowl­ing unit.”

Af­ter tak­ing his first five-fer in Eng­land, Holder de­clared his am­bi­tion to get a Test cen­tury in Eng­land, to add to the two he has hit against Eng­land in the Caribbean.

“I have done a good job so far, but my Test is far from over. I have a mas­sive con­tri­bu­tion to make with the bat.”

Eng­land, mean­while, have se­lected seven un­capped play­ers, in­clud­ing Lan­cashire quick bowler Richard Glee­son and War­wick­shire bats­man Sam Hain, in a 24-man train­ing group for the three-match one-day in­ter­na­tional se­ries against Ire­land. The squad, who will meet at the Ageas Bowl next Thurs­day, will be coached by Paul Collingwoo­d, the Eng­land as­sis­tant coach.

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