England will treat India decider as World Cup dress rehearsal, says Wood

first_img Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up The Hampshire batsman became surplus to requirements following a disappointing winter in Australia and New Zealand when his weakness outside off stump was brutally exposed.But after decent 50-overs form for his county, including a knock of 171 in last month’s Royal London One-Day Cup semi-final against Yorkshire, Vince was called into England’s one-day squad as cover once Dawid Malan, himself an injury replacement for Alex Hales, was commandeered by England Lions on Sunday.Now Roy’s injury means Vince is on the verge of winning his sixth ODI cap, and first since October 2016, when this series against India, currently standing at 1-1, concludes at Headingley on Tuesday.Sam Billings, who was called up as further batting cover late on Monday, appears the only barrier to that happening.Billings’ last ODI appearance came in the defeat against Scotland in Edinburgh last month but he appears behind Vince given the vacant slot would be as an opener, not his preferred role, and he has been parachuted into the squad at such a late stage.The absence of Roy, who has 416 ODI runs at an average of 52 this summer, is a setback for England as they seek to win their eighth 50-over series in succession.Wood, though, says the winner-takes-all nature of this match will offer Eoin Morgan’s team invaluable preparation before next year’s World Cup. The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Read more Topics Share on Messenger England won their last one-day series decider against New Zealand in Christchurch in March and, as the world’s No 1 ranked team, are favourites to do so again in Leeds.Asked if this match might have an impact on the five-Test series between England and India to come this summer, Wood said: “I think for the Test-match side of things, it is great to get certain people out or get runs against them but it is more of an impact for the World Cup.“If we can treat this game as a semi-final, a must-win with the pressure on, we can learn what we are doing wrong if we don’t win or what we are doing right if we do. Over the past year we have dealt with these situations well and hopefully we can carry on that trend tomorrow. England v India 2018 … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twitter Read more Share via Email Share on Pinterest England cricket teamcenter_img Eoin Morgan’s flexibility sets up England for India decider “We’ve prepared the same [as any other game], it’ll be the same preparation in the morning before the game so I’d imagine it’s pretty much the same feel. It’s just whether or not we can come out on top but I think we have got to treat it that way [as a knockout game] for things to come.”Big games require big players to come to the fore and for Ben Stokes, the most expensive overseas signing in Indian Premier League history, Headingley offers a stage for the all-rounder to show he is completely over the torn hamstring he sustained in May.Stokes returned for the T20 series decider against India in Bristol this month but has so far failed to take a wicket in three matches and his only significant score with the bat came in the opening ODI at Trent Bridge last week when he hit the slowest 50-over half-century for England in 13 years.However, Wood believes his Durham teammate is close to his best. “I think it’s a chance for Ben to prove how good he is again,” he said. “He doesn’t need to – everyone knows how good a player he is – but obviously coming back from a bit of time out, he’s probably desperate to do well and be that match-winner again.“It takes a bit of time to get your form and your rhythm back so I’m sure the more he plays the better he’ll get. India are a quality team so maybe they’ll have a game plan for him and it might just take him a little bit of time to work out certain situations.” news Mark Wood says England will use the deciding match of the one-day series against India as a dress rehearsal for a potential knockout match when they host next year’s World Cup.It will be highly instructive then to see how they cope under pressure and encumbered by a major injury blow after the opener Jason Roy was rated only a “30-70” chance to recover from the lacerated little finger on his right hand sustained fielding in his side’s series-levelling victory at Lord’s on Saturday.Roy’s misfortune – and the pessimistic prognosis given to him by England suggests he is almost certain to miss out – gives an unexpected opportunity to James Vince two months after he was discarded from England’s Test squad. 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