Mark Wood acknowledged that he has got to be ready for his full England debut as he edged closer to making his bow in a five-day Test match after being named in the squad of 12 for the first Investec clash against New Zealand which starts at Lord’s on Thursday.
The Ashington born right arm pace bowler recently toured with his country as part of a 16-man squad in the Caribbean against the West Indies.
And although he did not play, he recently made his first senior appearance in England’s one day international against Ireland in Dublin
Wood had been hoping to be included and the phone call duly arrived last week.
He said: “On the morning the squad was being announced, I received a call from James Whitaker, the chairman of selectors, who said, ‘Congratulations Mark, you’ve been called up into the 12’. I was delighted.”
Before he headed down on Sunday to link up with the rest of the party, Wood said: “There’s a possibility I could play but I will just take things as they come.
“Step by step, I am getting closer to making a start and when that opportunity comes then I’ve got to make sure I’m ready for it.”
Meanwhile in the same week of his call up, Wood hit a career best 66 with the bat for Durham in their victory over Nottinghamshire at the Emirates after going in as night watchman for the second time in the game.
“They got me out on the opening day going in near the close, nd I thought I had one more chance to redeem myself which came along,” he said.
“I felt settled and comfortable and it was a case of making the first 20 balls count.”
But the dream of hitting a century never crossed Wood’s mind.
“The longer I was out in the middle, the better it was for the team, so I was just trying to concentrate on that,” he said.
“Unfortunately one delivery managed to sneak through and bowl me, but I felt I did a good job and made it easier for the lads who followed me.
“It was a tough pitch against a good attack which included South Africa Test bowler Vernon Philander and proved to be an interesting challenge.
“My previous best had been an unbeaten 58 – ironically against Nottinghamshire two years ago – but it was especially pleasing that the lads clinched the win.”
Wood believes his performance adds another string to his bow.
“I’d like to think that I’ve offered something extra to my chances of being selected,” he added.