Mark Wood is hoping a longer run-up will help him stay injury-free as the paceman plots to become a permanent fixture in England’s ODI side ahead of the World Cup.
The Durham fast bowler had another interrupted home season but finds himself in the England squad for the five-match ODI series in Sri Lanka that starts on Wednesday.
One of England’s fastest bowlers, the 28-year-old has generated a lot of his pace from a short, sharp run-up but also suffered several niggling injuries along the way.
However, Wood is now back to full fitness and will bowl from a lengthy run as he looks ahead to next year’s global showpiece.
Wood told Talksport: “It’s something I’ve worked on in the second half of the season in England and brought it here. It’s a trial, something I can go back to if I want to do the step-back run-up.
“I spoke to Kevin Shine, the head bowling coach, and Chris Silverwood, who’s out here, and said that off my short run-up I felt I was having to force it all the time.
“That meant I was putting more stress on than I needed to, having to ramp it up to get my top speed.
“So pushed my run-up back, so that it felt like I could cruise into it a little more and look for more rhythm, rather than trying to be at the top end all the time, and putting more stress on my body.”
Looking ahead to the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, Wood wants the tourists to learn from hosts on how to generate reverse swing with the older ball in Asian conditions.
Wood continued: “Being quick through air will be key with reverse swing, but this ground at Dambulla looks lush and green, so I’m not sure how much reverse there’ll be.
“But the Sri Lankans tend to wet one side of the ball, and keep it smooth. They know better than anyone in their own conditions, so maybe we can take a leaf out of their book.”