Mark Wood has heaped praise on fellow England pacer Jofra Archer, stating how they developed a friendly rivalry during the 2019 ODI World Cup on home soil. Wood recalled how they encouraged one another to bowl as quickly as possible and described Archer as a "Rolls Royce of a fast bowler".
Wood and Archer played integral roles in England's maiden ODI World Cup triumph in 2019. While the former ended up with 18 scalps in 10 matches at an average of 25.72, Archer's tally of 20 wickets in 11 games was the highest for England.
The duo also picked up one important wicket each in the final against New Zealand as the hosts won a thriller following a Super Over.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Wood recalled his partnership with Archer, stating how they shared banter over bowling fast in the nets, regardless of the line or length. The 32-year-old said:
"I'd love it if fast bowling came easier to me. I can't tell you how much I envy someone like Jofra Archer. Now that man is a Rolls Royce of a fast bowler. Throughout the 2019 World Cup we had a great partnership that bordered on a friendly rivalry. We'd gee each other up to bowl quick and it was so much fun.
"He was convinced they never put his speeds up on the board, all this kind of stuff. But then mine would come up all the time and I'd get him to have a look. But whenever it was under 90, he'd shout, "Oh, you just warming up?" So I'd be like, "Right, I'll show you next, pal!" The next one might have been short, wide and a pile of rubbish - but it was never slow!"
Wood also bowled the fastest ball at the T20 World Cup 2022, clocking 154.74 kmph against New Zealand at the Gabba in Brisbane. Meanwhile, Archer has been on the sidelines since July 2021 due to a long-standing elbow injury. He last played international cricket in March 2021.
"My favorite at the moment has to be Pat Cummins" - Mark Wood
Wood picked Australia's Test captain Pat Cummins as his current favorite pacer due to his consistency and accuracy. The England speedster highlighted that fast bowlers always carry some niggle or the other, adding:
"My favorite at the moment has to be Pat Cummins. I think he's immense, and not just because he owns half my foot. Just consistently fast as well as accurate and keeps turning out performances spell after spell, day after day, match after match.
"It's remarkable really. Because every time you do it, it takes that little bit out of you. Bits you don't get back. You're never as fresh, you're never free from pain, never as explosive as the first time, whether in a day or even in your career."
Wood was sidelined following England's tour of the West Indies in March. He returned to international cricket during the seven-match T20I series in Pakistan in September.
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