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Wood can provide England with x-factor at World Cup – Rainford-Brent

England news

Mark Wood could be the man to freshen up England’s bowling attack when this summer’s ICC Men's Cricket World Cup comes around, according to Ebony Rainford-Brent.

The Durham quick has breathed new life into England’s unit in both Test and ODI cricket – at times blowing the Windies away with his frightening out-and-out pace across the winter.

But there’s the feeling that Wood – who took a brilliant 4/60 in the third ODI run-fest – still has new heights to reach with the white ball.

That’s a level that Rainford-Brent, ICC Women’s World Cup winner with England in 2009, feels could prove the difference this summer as the host nation seek their very first men's title.

“Mark Wood has just put in a fantastic performance in the West Indies and I think that extra pace that he could bring could be vital,” said Rainford-Brent.

“Some of the guys usually operate in the low 80s (mph) and therefore Wood could be useful.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he will be brought in at some point because he is kind of Simon Jones-like and could bring a bit of extra oomph.

“England have got a settled unit, I think we are going to see the usual set up this summer, they’ve got the experience and know-how of playing together.

“Wood is very much in the equation and he can offer something really invaluable to that bowling side.

“I also think that Jofra Archer could be another one that has an outside chance – everyone is talking about him in the white-ball game but the fact that he has got height and pace could see him brought in at some point.”

Ebony Rainford-Brent is backing Mark Wood for big things at #CWC19
Ebony Rainford-Brent is backing Mark Wood for big things at #CWC19

For England – three-time runners-up in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup – their time in the spotlight has failed to materialise having yet to lift the trophy.

But with an exciting blend of youth and experience, perhaps 2019 can finally be their year. 

That’s the feeling Rainford-Brent possesses at least, believing home familiarity could be the turning point for Eoin Morgan’s side – so long as they can click on the day.

“This is the best chance England has ever had to win the World Cup,” she added.

“Seeing the turnaround in this team over the past few years or so has been amazing.

“It is a young and exciting side which is ever better and let’s face it is the best ODI side we have ever had.

“I think they will at least get to the final and whether they will win it – I don’t know but the whole country will be behind them.

“Eoin Morgan is just an outstanding leader, to see how he carries himself, he is very calm under pressure which is what you want and he has clearly had a vision about going out and playing fearless cricket to try and transform this side.

“He is in some ways the father of the team and if he goes on and takes us to that next level he will have done what no other captain has been able to do in this format of the game. He could change English cricket history.”

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