Eoin: Jofra will handle it well versus West Indies
Eoin Morgan revealed England are sweating on the fitness of Mark Wood ahead of Friday’s clash against the West Indies.
The pacer is battling an ankle injury that makes him doubtful for the clash.
The 29-year-old has taken four wickets so far in this World Cup, but his ankle flared up after England’s 106-run win against Bangladesh last Saturday.
Wood has had this issue earlier as well, with his ankles causing him to be sidelined for lengthy spells. However, he is England’s only doubt with off-spinner Moeen Ali available following the birth of his daughter, Haadiya, earlier this week while vice-captain Jos Buttler is expected to keep wickets following a hip problem.
“Jos is fully fit. Mark Wood will have a fitness test in the morning, nothing too serious from Cardiff.
“His ankle is swollen. He has not bowled for two days, so we will see how he is… Will assess his condition… If he is sore, then we may not take the risk,” Morgan was quoted as saying by ICC media.
“Mo’s wife gave birth to a baby girl, all healthy and well, so it is great to see him back. We might go with four seamers or two spinners, whichever is more effective. With seamers, it is always about the balance to take on the West Indies,” the England captain added.
While England wait on the news of Wood’s availability, all eyes will be on his fellow fast bowler Jofa Archer playing against the nation of his birth for the first time.
The 24-year-old Barbados-born player has made an explosive start to international cricket with England, and Morgan, who started his international debut in Ireland colours, insists the former will not be overawed.
“Jofra has been very consistent over a long period of time, since he came to Sussex,” he said. “It is great he is in an England shirt. It does feel different the first time you play against a side you could have played for. But I am sure he will handle it.
Morgan added: “I did not find it difficult (playing against Ireland for the first time). It was a different challenge, rather than a difficult one.”
Always a dangerous opponent, the West Indies are the only country in this World Cup not to have lost to England in their most recent ODI series against the two teams. The two sides drew 2-2 in an enthralling battle in the Caribbean earlier this year and Morgan is under no illusions what his side will face — hostile, fast bowlers and big, hulking and explosive batsman. “The Windies are a strong outfit. We expect the same tomorrow,” he said.
“They are explosive with the bat and pose a different challenge with the ball. The seamers are tall and they hit the deck hard. For most of the time, they play with one spinner.”
Meanwhile, though rain has been ruining matches in the World Cup, Morgan is not too worried.
“I don't think the rain will be the reason why we don't make the semi-finals. I think today’s probably the last of the significant rain for the next few days. I know the last three days haven't been great for sides trying to get games in.”