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England wait on Wood's fitness for Windies clash

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England wait on Wood's fitness for Windies clash
FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - England Nets - The Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - June 12, 2019 England's Mark Wood during nets Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs   -   Copyright  Paul Childs(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – England fast bowler Mark Wood is a doubt for Friday’s World Cup clash with West Indies at Southampton because of a flare-up of an ankle injury, captain Eoin Morgan said on Thursday.

Wood, who has taken four wickets in England’s three matches so far, has struggled since the win over Bangladesh on Saturday.

The 29-year-old is the only worry for England ahead of the game with off-spinner Moeen Ali available following the birth of his daughter earlier this week while vice-captain Jos Buttler is expected to keep wicket following a hip problem.

“Jos is fully fit,” Morgan told reporters after net practice on Thursday. “Mark Wood will have a fitness test in the morning.

“His ankle is swollen. He has not bowled for two days so we will see how he is, if he is sore then we may not take the risk.

“Mo’s wife gave birth to a baby girl, all healthy and well, so it is great to see him back. We might go with four seamers or two spinners, whichever is more effective.”

Morgan is expecting a tough battle against West Indies with whom they drew 2-2 with in a ODI series earlier this year.

Despite being ranked eighth in the ODI standings, West Indies have a potent attack featuring the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Carlos Brathwaite.

They also have the destructive batting of Chris Gayle, who averages 51.42 against England in ODIs.

“They are a strong outfit, we expect the same tomorrow,” said Morgan, whose side have beaten South Africa and Bangladesh but suffered a surprise defeat by Pakistan.

“They are explosive with the bat and a different challenge with the ball. The seamers are tall and they hit the wicket hard, for most of the time they play with one spinner.”

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

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