Mark Wood and Dawid Malan remain a doubt for the ICC T20 World Cup final with injuries after sitting out England’s dominant semifinal win over India.
England’s coach Matthew Mott has admitted their inclusion remains a “gamble” but with the most important game of the tournament on the horizon it is likely they will take their chance.
Chris Jordan and Phil Salt replaced the two in the playing XI for the semifinal and while Jordan did an OK job Wood’s pace was sorely missed by his side as Hardik Pandya easily dispatched others in Adelaide.
Wood, however, was seen bowling in the nets during his team’s only practice session in Melbourne but that cannot be evidence of his fitness as he also warmed up before the semifinal with England’s pace battery.
His injury was first described as muscle stiffness but was later revealed to be a hip issue while Malan suffered a groin injury during England’s Super 12 match against Sri Lanka.
England’s management may be reluctant for Wood to risk aggravating his injury before their Test series in Pakistan next month but the pacer insists that his only focus is on Sunday’s final.
Jasprit Bumrah was recently rushed back by India from an injury which aggravated it further ruling him out of the current world cup.
But while Malan’s production with the bat can be replaced, Mark Wood may be the X-factor England has in the T20 World Cup final as he caused Pakistani batters plenty of trouble during the games he played against the green shirts during their seven-match T20 series.
He bowled the fastest delivery at this year’s competition and has the most balls bowled above 150 kph which could be useful in the final.
Pakistan and England will face each other at the iconic MCG tomorrow to decide who lifts their second T20 World Cup trophy if the game can go on with rain expected to ruin the occasion.