Bowler Mark Wood would miss England’s third Test against India due to a shoulder injury. Wood hurt his right shoulder while taking a dive on day four of the second Test, which was held at Lord’s last week. Although he showed up the final day and played, he would not be joining the squad at Emerald Headingley this week.
Wood’s absence would be a big blow for England as his presence in the past two Tests, even though India currently leads 1-0 after they drew the first Test. Wood had been the only available bowler as the rest are out due to injury. Stuart Broad, Olly Stone, and Jofra Archer are all absent due to injury. Archer’s elbow injury would keep him off the squad till, at least, the end of the year. Ben Stokes is also unavailable after taking the time off to focus on his mental health.
This leaves England on thin ice as Wood was their last good bowler. Skipper Joe Root described Mark’s absence as frustrating, saying that his presence made a real difference in the team. No replacement has been announced for him yet, but there are speculations that Saqib Mahmood could take his place, making his Test debut as Root said that he has proven himself this year. Mahmood has featured in ODIs and has a fairly impressive record in domestic cricket, where he plays for Lancashire.
Wood, however, would remain with the English team while he tries to recover. He is currently being assessed by the medical team and might play in any of the two remaining Tests if he is certified fit. Coach Chris Silverwood stated that it was important the team looked after Wood. With Archer out for the rest of the year and Stone’s availability uncertain, Wood seems the likely option for a bowler England has for their Ashes against Australia this Winter.