Evening Times - - SNOOKER -


MARK WOOD has stepped up his bid to prove he is the man to pro­vide Eng­land the “X fac­tor” they are look­ing for in the third Test against South Africa.

With James An­der­son back home nurs­ing a bro­ken rib, the tourists are in need of a re­place­ment and would dearly love it to be some­one ca­pa­ble of top­ping 90mph and get­ting un­der the bats­men’s skin.

Wood and Jofra Archer tick that box but both men have ques­tion marks over their fit­ness.

Wood has not played com­pet­i­tively in the six months since Eng­land’s World Cup fi­nal win, and was named man-of-the­match in his last Test ap­pear­ance al­most a year ago, while Archer has been suf­fer­ing sore­ness in his right el­bow.

The pair have been hit­ting the nets over the past two days and it is Wood who has thrust him­self to the fore for Thurs­day’s clash in Port El­iz­a­beth.

As­sis­tant coach Paul Colling­wood said: “We have enough bowlers in and around the county cir­cuit who can bowl at 82-85mph and try to nip it around. You want the likes of Wood and Archer to give you that X fac­tor,” he said.

“Here at Port El­iz­a­beth it’s gen­er­ally a slower pitch so hav­ing that kind of X fac­tor, if these guys are fit and raring to go at 100-per­cent in­ten­sity, it would be great to be able to call upon one of those bowlers.

“They have an op­por­tu­nity over the next two train­ing ses­sions to prove to us they should be the one in the team.”

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