Home Sports The Ashes 2023: Nasser Hussain on how Mark Wood inspired England’s win over Australia at Headingley | Cricket News

The Ashes 2023: Nasser Hussain on how Mark Wood inspired England’s win over Australia at Headingley | Cricket News

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The Ashes 2023: Nasser Hussain on how Mark Wood inspired England’s win over Australia at Headingley | Cricket News

Former England captain and Sky Sports Cricket expert Nasser Hussain reflects on England’s thrilling three-wicket win over Australia at Headingley, in particular the contribution from player of the match Mark Wood on his Test comeback…

The third Test at Headingley was a brilliant game of cricket, and Australia will probably feel what England have felt in the past two games where they played a lot of good cricket and will try to work out where they lost it.

You just lose little half-hours in this series, and you end up losing the Test match. When Mark Wood went out on day two after lunch and had that cameo, and the way Ben Stokes played after it, those 90 runs in 10 overs turned the course of the game.

Mark Wood's Headingley stats
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Mark Wood’s Headingley stats

In that situation, Wood fending it off and trying to survive is not going to score as many runs as Wood taking them on. It’s the same with Chris Woakes; I thought he got it spot on with the tempo when he went in on day four.

Hanging around was not going to do it, he had to put the pressure back on the opposition and he did it perfectly.

Woakes has to wait his turn because you’re always going to play (Stuart) Broad and (James) Anderson, and you’ve got a great all-rounder in Stokesy, so you’re constantly playing for one spot. There have been some other very fine bowlers as well.

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Watch Mark Wood’s five wickets on his return to the England team on day one of the third Ashes Test

You don’t often play three right-arm seamers of the same pace, so Wood has to play or before that Jofra Archer and Josh Tongue now.

I’m not in the dressing room, but if you’re asking me who are two of the more popular players in this England team are I’d say Wood and Woakes – Woakes because he is genuinely a good bloke, but Wood because of the energy.

We had it when I was playing in Darren Gough – that sort of energy and clown who lifts you when your chin is dragging along the floor. Someone will say something in the corner of the dressing room, do something silly, and that’s Wood.

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Watch Mark Wood’s five wickets on his return to the England team on day one of the third Ashes Test

His stats aren’t why his team-mates or why the Headingley crowd love Mark Wood, they love him because of his heart. You know when a cricketer is giving it everything.

He can run in and bowl fast – great, it’s very watchable. But what any fan and team-mate want is someone with a massive ticker who cares deeply, cares about his team-mates, cares about the result and will leave nothing out there.

He’ll get injured, he’ll pick himself up and he’ll go again, and that’s all you can ask from a team-mate or an international cricketer. The stats tell you one thing, but he’s loved by people because he gives absolutely everything.

Watch day one of the fourth Ashes Test live on Sky Sports Cricket on Wednesday July 19. Build-up from 10am, first ball at 11am. You can stream the men’s and women’s Ashes series on NOW.

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