Steve Harmison has argued that England’s misuse of ‘Ferrari’ Mark Wood during the Ashes series may have contributed to the fast bowler’s latest injury issue.
Wood left the field of play on Thursday with an elbow complaint after bowling 17 overs across days two and three of the first Test.
Wood has been struggling with injury and illness recentlygetty
England are yet to confirm whether he will be fit to bowl in the second innings and is an injury doubt for the second Test starting in Barbados on Wednesday.
“He bowled a lot [in Sydney] and I remember thinking that we’re going to need him further down the line”, said Harmison on talkSPORT 2’s live coverage of the series. “He just kept bowling dead overs.
“But Mark will never ever shy away from that. The thing with him is that he always wants to take wickets, he’s a bit like Ben Stokes.
“And that’s where you need strong leadership to just take the ball off them and make sure they don’t go anywhere near the bowling.”
Wood was unable to bowl in the first innings of the warm-up match against the CWI President’s XI last week after falling ill and managed only nine overs in the second innings spread across several spells.
This caused concerns, leading into the Test match, that Wood may not have had the preparation required to ensure that he was fully fit.
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Gatting wishes he could hear Warne tell him how good THAT ball was one more time Harmison believes England should have managed Wood betterGETTY
Not only that, but with England’s relentless touring schedule, there was also concern that Wood may be overworked, as well as undercooked going into the series.
This is Wood’s third tour of the winter having been a mainstay in England’s T20 World Cup team in the UAE and also featuring in four of the five Ashes Test matches.
“England play a lot of cricket and there’s no preparation time going into each tour,” explained Harmison.
“So you’ve got to be careful how you use people and the rest periods in between and when they start going again.
Whilst Wood is a Ferrari, Anderson and Broad are Bentleys, according to Harmisongetty
“He has bowled a lot, it’s been a while since he’s been injured, and he’s missed a lot of cricket.
“So, those dead overs in Sydney, I wouldn’t say they’re coming back to haunt the England cricket team now, but I don’t think that has helped his body going into this series.”
Harmison added: “Especially when you’ve only got one Ferrari and you’ve left a couple of Bentley’s [in Broad and James Anderson] at home!”
Shortly after Harmison’s comments, the ECB released an update that Wood is continuing to receive treatment with a view to bowling in the West Indies second innings.
They added that there are no plans for Wood to receive a scan and also no talks as to whether England are considering calling up any replacements to the squad.
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