strike bowler Mark Wood has urged England to forget about their Lord’s humiliation and respond in perfect fashion by clinching victory in the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
Alastair Cook’s side were dismissed for a paltry second-innings 103 in 37 overs eight days ago to collapse to an embarrassing 405-run defeat inside four days at headquarters as Australia levelled the five-match series at 1-1.
The margin of defeat, after England had so impressively won the opening encounter in Cardiff by 169 runs, prompted head coach Trevor Bayliss and his selectors to make changes to England’s misfiring top order ahead of the third Test, which gets underway in Birmingham on Wednesday.
In-form Yorkshire batsman Jonny Bairstow replaces county colleague Gary Ballance in the only change to England’s 13-man squad, with Ian Bell moving up to No 3 to fill the void created by the Zimbabwe-born left-hander’s departure.
With the series level with three Tests to play, England travel to Birmingham with their tails between their legs but Wood insists he and his team-mates cannot afford to dwell on their second Test trouncing and must approach the latest match with a clean slate.
“I think we’ve got to take heart from what we did in the first game (in Cardiff) and we can’t remember too much of what has gone on – we have to always keep looking forward,” said the 25-year-old Durham fast bowler.
“That’s what keeps things exciting and what we did in the New Zealand series. Even if we did well, we would say today is a new day. It was all about what was going to happen next. I think in this next game it’s going to be exactly the same.
“It’s a mentality thing. Okay they batted really well and out bowled us this game but in Cardiff we did the same to them. Let’s forget what’s gone and let’s start again and play how we want to do, not worry about what the Aussies are going to do.”
Next month marks the 10-year anniversary since England secured a thrilling two-run second Ashes Test win against Ricky Pointing’s side at Edgbaston and much of the focus leading up to this week’s encounter in England’s second city has centred on that last-gasp victory.
Michael Vaughan’s side levelled the series at 1-1 when Michael Kasprowicz gloved Steve Harmison’s bouncer behind to wicketkeeper Geraint Jones and Wood would dearly love to emulate his former county team-mate in delivering a memorable Ashes triumph.
“I watched (the 2005 second Ashes Test) in a local cricket club in Ashington because Harmy was playing and he was a big hero for everyone at the club and a friend of mine,” said Wood.
“I remember Jones taking that catch and – we were in the lounge, a smaller room compared to the clubhouse where everyone was going mad, chairs getting kicked over, and it was fantastic.
“Watching that series got me even more interested than I already was. It was the greatest series that certainly I have ever watched and to have somebody from your home town in it was fantastic.
“I hope it doesn’t get that close in this game but I would love to put a performance in like that.”
The only fly in the ointment at Lord’s as far as Australia were concerned came on the fourth morning when Chris Rogers was forced to retire unwell while batting after experiencing a ‘’sudden dizzy spell’’.
The 37-year-old opener had been hit on the helmet by a James Anderson delivery two days earlier and had missed Australia’s first Test against the West Indies with concussion earlier in the summer.
Rogers sat out of Australia’s tour match against Derbyshire this week as a precaution but is expected to partner David Warner at the top of the batting order in Birmingham and, should the Middlesex man play, Wood insists he, Anderson, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes will have no qualms about peppering him with short deliveries.
“It’s never great when you see someone get hit or go down. You might have the intent or aggression to hit people but when they do get hit it’s not really that nice, especially when he had a dizzy spell,” added Wood.
“If he declares himself fit for the next game, that will not deter me from bowling a bouncer though. If he’s declared himself fit then he’s fit and I’m sure the rest of our lads – Stokesy, Jimmy, Broady, Finny (Steven Finn) if he plays – will agree.
“You don’t want to see someone have a dizzy spell, I wish him all the best, hope he’s all right. I don’t wish him any harm, it’s never nice. But if he’s fit then he’s fit, so it’ll be just the same as normal.”
Mitchell Marsh enhanced his growing reputation by taking four wickets as Australia’s tour match with Derbyshire ended in a draw.
Marsh struck twice in his first over on Saturday en route to impressive figures of 4-41 from 15 overs, although an unlikely 82 off 68 balls from Derbyshire No 9 Tony Palladino thwarted any hopes of an Australia victory.
Derbyshire were all out for 259 shortly before tea and there was enough time for Australia captain Michael Clarke, opening the innings, to make a confidence-boosting 44 not out out of 95-1 ahead of this week’s third Test.
An afternoon washout meant only 29 overs were possible on Friday, all but ruling out the prospect of either side winning, but Marsh briefly raised Australian hopes by making two breakthroughs in his first over to reduce the home side to 95-4.
Scott Elstone skewed to David Warner at gully and Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen was trapped in front.
The young all-rounder, who took three wickets as Australia levelled the Ashes series, made it three wickets in 19 balls when Tom Knight edged to the slips.
Leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed got in on the act by bowling Jonathan Clare, and Harvey Hosein clubbed Peter Siddle straight to Shane Watson at fine-leg to leave Derbyshire, on 81-2 overnight, reeling on 129-7.
David Wainwright and Palladino then rescued Derbyshire with an excellent 105-run partnership for the eighth wicket.