I feel so sorry for Mark Wood for being left out of the first ODI of the ICC Cricket World Cup!
For those of us who were lucky enough to watch his marvellous demolition of the West Indies batsmen in St. Lucia in February and independently saving face for the whole England Cricket team, having been utterly annihilated in the two previous games. His bowling figures of 5 for 41 changed the whole game but did not tell the whole story. He was absolutely unplayable and had the previously dominant West Indians, ducking and diving his vicious attack with the ball on a wicket that was not necessarily conducive to seam bowling.
My other concern is Moeen Ali who seems totally out of sorts in the One day games. In his last 5 games, he hasn’t taken only 1 wicket and sadly for him, his batting has been equally poor having only made one score above 40 in his last 5 innings. More worryingly is his body language, he seems uncertain as to which shot to play and hence giving his wicket away too easily. Could it be said we saw the same disappointing level of performance yesterday?
I strongly believe that this World Cup will not be won by the team with the best batting line up but by the team with the strongest bowling unit – with the addition of Jofra Archer we are very strong. The icing on top of this satisfying cake yesterday was the catch by Ben Stokes who won man of the match.
Having been around the game and coached for many years, I know difficult decisions have to be made in selecting the final 11 to take the field. I would like to suggest that we include Mark Wood and consider resting Moeen Ali. What one spinner I hear you cry! No, we also have Joe Root who is a fine bowler of spin and can certainly contribute to the bowling attack. I doubt this will happen but I hope it may give food for thought.