Cricket

Mark Wood: England out to finish on high

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England captain Alastair Cook is not allowing his players to rest on their laurels despite already sealing the Ashes, bowler Mark Wood revealed ahead of this week's final Test at the Oval.

England claimed an unassailable 3-1 lead with victory at Trent Bridge but Cook, whose side were hammered 5-0 by Australia last time the teams met, is determined to finish with a flourish and not settle for what they have already achieved, Wood has said.

The Durham seamer, who took the wicket that sealed the return of the Ashes at Nottingham, told Sky Sports: "Cooky rang me the next day. He didn't let that winning feeling sink in too much because every other phone call was saying 'brilliant, well done but let's make this 4-1'.

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"If it was the other way around I'm sure that Australia wouldn't give us an easy ride so of course the celebrations will be after the game.

"We have to prepare like we have for every other game and make sure that when it comes to Thursday that we're raring to go. Trying to make it 4-1 as I think that would make it just that bit more sweet."

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Wood played the first two matches of the series but concerns over his right ankle, and his physical suitability for back-to-back Tests, saw him left out at Edgbaston.

Wood returned for the fourth Test at Trent Bridge where England regained the Ashes with an innings-and-78-run victory, the 25-year-old contributing 28 runs and claiming figures of three for 69 in Australia's second innings.

However, he may have to step aside if James Anderson returns to the team after practising on Monday.

The record-breaking fast bowler, 33, suffered a side strain on the second day of the third Test at Edgbaston and was immediately ruled out of the fourth Test .

He will be assessed on both Tuesday and Wednesday before a decision is taken over his potential participation.

Wood added: "Jimmy's got 400 Test wickets, he's England's lead bowler, so if he's fit and ready to go - he had a bowl yesterday and he seemed fine - I'm going to prepare like I have for every other game, that's then out of my hands with the management.

"But Jimmy's a fantastic bowler and I'm sure everyone would want him in the side so if he's fit and ready to go then it looks like he would get the nod, but I'll prepare like I have for every other game."

Wood sealed the Ashes-winning victory in Nottingham by taking the final wicket, scattering Nathan Lyon's stumps before wheeling away in celebration.

He hopes never to forget that moment, although he has watched some television replays since.

Wood, who made his Test debut in a 124-run victory over New Zealand in May, said "To get the chance to watch it back was pretty special and I don't want to forget that moment ever.

"We still talk about it now in the dressing room with the lads and it's actually good to watch it on TV and actually realise what happened because I've forgotten half the stuff after I took the wicket with the amount of screaming and jumping around.

"Fantastic moment personally for me and I hope that feeling never goes away."

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Topics:
England cricket
Cricket
The Ashes

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