Cricket

Andrew Strauss and Trevor Bayliss have left the door open for his return.

England could still call up a surprise player to their Ashes squad

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England's Ashes squad has been as much about who isn't in it as who is.

The spectre of Ben Stokes is not quite haunting their tour of Australia, but the mention of it is becoming something of an irritant.

The all-rounder's absence has led to serious questions about the bowling attack.

There were surprise call-ups for Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Craig Overton, and Mason Crane, though none are featuring in the first Test.

Yet, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood missed out, both deemed not fit enough to be relied upon by the ECB selectors.

Injury has played a big part in England's squad selection. Toby Roland-Jones would almost certainly have been on the plane for his impressive start against South Africa in the summer, but a back problem robbed him of his chance.

However, according to the Guardian, England could still receive a timely boost in the form of one bowler's return.

Wood has been told he still has a chance of joining up with the party for the later Tests after undergoing experimental sugar injections.

It would be fitting for the 27-year-old to play some part Down Under, as he claimed the final wicket that helped England retain the urn back in 2015.

What England have told Wood 

The Durham star has revealed that he has spoken to the coaching staff and they have left the door open for him to make a shock appearance later on in the series.

“I had meetings with Andrew Strauss, Trevor Bayliss and [selector] James Whitaker at the end of the season," he said, per the same source.

"They said if I got my body right I’d be in a position still to have an impact in the series.

CRICKET-ENG-RSA-TEST

“I’m not here to put any of the lads under pressure. I’ve had enough injuries myself to know you don’t want people to go through that. But if there is an injury I might be in the background and out with the Lions doing well. I can just slot in.”

It's fair to say the only man who may be a little alarmed by his potential return is Jake Ball, who was given the nod for the first Test at the Gabba.

Wood has been undergoing a treatment on his left ankle whereby glucose is injected to irritate the ligaments in the hope that they become stronger when they heal.

If he were to join up with the main group, his experience could be invaluable.

Should England call up Wood if he gets fit? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
Australia cricket
The Ashes
Cricket
England cricket

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