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FAST AND FURIOUS; SRI LANKA V ENGLAND FIFTH ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL COLOMBO, 10AM; Fired-up Wood reveals the battle for World Cup places as seven pace men vie for just five spots in the squad.


THERE is no such thing as a dead rubber for Mark Wood.

England have already won the ODI series with Sri Lanka, leading 3-0 with just today's final game to play.

But with World Cup spots looking as rare as Willy Wonka's golden ticket, Wood needs to remind the selectors what he can do.

With out-and-out pace, the Geordie has long been touted as the bowler with a real point of difference in the England set-up if he can stay fit but that has changed with the emergence of Olly Stone.

There are as many as seven fast bowlers vying for a maximum five places in Eoin Morgan's 15-man squad for next summer but two of them are already sewn up by Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett.

And it is Stone's extra gas that has put Wood on red alert that his World Cup dream could be in tatters unless he shows why he should get the nod.

"It's been frustrating because I've not played but I'm going to get a go now so it's a chance where I can push my case," said Wood.

"Some of the net sessions have been pretty hairy as all the bowlers have been charging in trying to get noticed. With a World Cup round the corner you do your best now or you're not going to make it.

"I'm sure Morgie is absolutely licking his lips at the fact there are these lads charging in at training and everyone is trying to impress him.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't have one eye on the World Cup and if I don't do well here I am one tour away from not making that squad so it just means I've got to do the business."

The competition is fierce but the camaraderie remains strong with Jos Buttler providing some reassurance while Wood has been supportive of Stone throughout.

Aponso Rajitha "I'm definitely fully behind him," Wood added. "Olly's a great lad and I like that he bowls rockets."

CHRIS WOAKES Opening bowler full of experience. A definite pick LIAM PLUNKETT England's most successful pace bowler since the last World Cup. He's in.

DAVID WILLEY Left-arm opening bowler, swings the ball and is a handy bat. Should be fine.

OLLY STONE Has real pace and skill now he is over his injury. Coming up on rails.

TOM CURRAN Getting better with every game. Has a deadly slower ball. Outside chance SAM CURRAN Has played more red than white-ball cricket but nothing fazes him. Back-up for Willey & Stokes r

TV TIMES: Live on Sky Sports from 9am SRI LANKA ENGLAND Dickwella (w) Hales Samarawickrama Roy Chandimal (c) Root Mendis Morgan (c) De Silva Stokes Shanaka Buttler (w) Perera Moeen Dananjaya Plunkett Malinga Rashid Aponso Curran Rajitha Wood PROBABLE TEAMS


MARK WOOD For three years he has been England's fastest bowler but has had major injury issues. Probably makes it

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Oct 23, 2018
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