Wood handed new-ball chance

14 March 2018 08:10:45 EST

England fast bowler Mark Wood is determined to make the most of being given an unexpected opportunity to take the new ball in New Zealand.

Wood was preferred to Stuart Broad for new-ball duties on day one of a two-day warm-up game against a New Zealand Select XI and responded by taking 2-80 from 18 overs, as the hosts reached 376 all out by the close of play.

It was obviously a huge honour to open the bowling for England.

Mark Wood

And Wood, who took advantage of the absence of Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Craig Overton due to knocks, was delighted to have been handed the new cherry along with James Anderson.

He told reporters: "Yesterday we had a bowlers' meeting, and Joe Root pulled me in at the end and said that - further down the line - if the two guys (Anderson and Broad) finish at around the same time, we don't want two fresh opening bowlers.

"So it's a chance in a practice game to give different lads a chance.

"I was a bit surprised when he told me, but it was obviously a huge honour to open the bowling for England - especially with Jimmy.

"I was shocked, to be fair, because they're a prolific opening partnership, but it was a chance for me to try to impress."

A string of injury problems have restricted Wood to a mere ten Test match appearances to date, the last of which came against South Africa at Trent Bridge last summer.

He has taken 26 wickets at an average of 40.65 in those Tests and has yet to take more than three wickets in an innings.

England are 7/5 to win the first Test of two against the Black Caps, with the draw 2/1 and a New Zealand victory 9/4.

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