Netherlands vs England – Luke Wood braces for England ODI debut … regardless of three-year 50-over drought

Luke Wood is ready to make his England ODI debut within the Netherlands however has now not performed a 50-over recreation for 3 years. As such, his call-up to Matthew Mott’s first white-ball squad for the three-match collection which begins on Friday, squeezed in between the second one and 3rd New Zealand Tests, is a revealing second.

Wood, a strapping left-arm seamer, has been on England’s radar for a while – he’s a former Under-19 global and used to be a reserve for January’s T20I collection in Barbados – however his involvement highlights the level to which 50-over cricket has slipped down the record of priorities in English cricket because the 2019 World Cup.

“He has been constant for Lancashire over the last three hundred and sixty five days and we’ve got been tracking his development,” Mott mentioned when the squad used to be introduced, however a telling reality used to be conspicuous through its absence: Wood hasn’t ever in reality performed a 50-over recreation for Lancashire.

Since his List A debut in 2016, Wood has performed most effective 3 extra video games {of professional} 50-over cricket, maximum just lately for Nottinghamshire in May 2019. The intensity of Notts’ bowling assault and resultant loss of first-team alternatives used to be a significant factor in Wood’s choice to depart for Lancashire on the finish of that season and his contract with Trent Rockets within the Hundred manner he has most effective worn the Red Rose in first class and T20 cricket.

In the 2 complete seasons since his transfer to Old Trafford, none of England’s ultimate white-ball gamers have performed a home 50-over recreation: the Royal London Cup used to be cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic and clashed with the Hundred in 2021. It will accomplish that once more this summer time and whilst the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) are pushing for a transformation subsequent 12 months, it is going to turn out exhausting to seek out room in a agenda this is already at snapping point.

“I do know that I have never performed a 50-over recreation for 3 years,” Wood tells ESPNcricinfo. “With the Hundred and the 50-over comp occurring on the identical time, a large number of other folks within the body may not have performed a large number of 50-over cricket just lately except it is at global degree. If you take a look at the agenda, it is almost definitely one thing you’ll be able to see increasingly more of, except one thing adjustments.”

And but Wood isn’t unduly involved through inexperience as a 50-over bowler: “It’s similar to T20 in a way. Your abilities are just about the similar, it is only a longer time frame. I used to be away this wintry weather [at the Abu Dhabi T10 and the PSL] and when you consider the Hundred and the Blast, I’ve almost definitely performed extra white-ball cricket within the closing three hundred and sixty five days than I ever have prior to now.

“I would not say it is a subject matter. From an intruder’s viewpoint, it’s possible you’ll take a look at me having performed 4 video games and it will appear slightly complicated. But I feel you have to take white-ball cricket as a complete now, now not simply 50-over cricket and T20 cricket.”

England had been compelled to select gamers alongside the ones strains, highlighting specific roles of their aspect and understanding who’s best-placed to fill them primarily based predominantly on T20 performances. Wood – along side Brydon Carse, who inspired in England’s ODI collection towards Pakistan closing 12 months – has been known as a possible attacking danger within the heart overs within the Liam Plunkett function, regardless of the truth he in large part bowls with the brand new ball for Lancashire within the Blast.

While not up to excellent, England have coped prior to now with a home agenda that doesn’t replicate the global recreation: between 2010 and 2013, the counties performed a 40-over List A match somewhat than a 50-over one, a choice which had long-term advantages for younger batters like Jos Buttler and Jason Roy who have been nonetheless making their method within the recreation.

The shorter structure compelled that technology to play in a extra attacking taste, one that took place to replicate the only Eoin Morgan carried out after the 2015 World Cup. Nathan Leamon, England’s white-ball analyst, wrote in his guide Hitting Against The Spin with Ben Jones that it used to be “a contented coincidence” which formed the improvement of “the best number of white-ball batsmen that England has ever produced”.

But the distinction is obviously starker now and whilst there are transferrable abilities in many jobs – openers, finishers and new-ball bowlers, as an example – the ECB are prepared to create alternatives for gifted gamers to play 50-over video games: the Lions play two one-day fixtures towards South Africa subsequent month and are because of excursion this wintry weather, whilst the go back of an annual North vs South collection will likely be mentioned as a part of Andrew Strauss’ high-performance assessment.

Mo Bobat, England’s functionality director, believes that Lions squads are the toughest to make a choice of any and subsequent month’s variety will see momentary wishes balanced with longer-term ambitions: one of the nation’s ultimate younger white-ball gamers corresponding to Will Smeed and Tom Lammonby stay uncapped in List A cricket and will likely be thought to be for the South Africa fixtures.

In the fast time period, the Netherlands excursion is more likely to see Dawid Malan given a possibility to bat at No. 3 and pitch his case to be Root’s back-up in a full-strength squad, whilst Buttler appears set to transport up the order – possibly to No. 4 – as England glance to get essentially the most out of the sector’s in-form white-ball batter.

There can be alternatives for fringe seamers together with Carse, Wood, Reece Topley and David Payne to provoke the brand new hierarchy within the absence of a number of first-choice gamers because of accidents, with Mott highlighting loss of life bowling as a “truly key center of attention” for the collection.

For Wood, the objective this week is simple: “I simply need to check out and display everybody what I’m about,” he says. “Hopefully I will be able to make my ODI debut and do smartly.” If he does, he is also the primary England participant within the trendy generation to function in an ODI without a List A monitor document to talk of; it kind of feels not likely that he would be the closing.

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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