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