Hyderabad: England pacer Mark Wood says his team are all set for the Indian challenge as they take on Rohit Sharma and Co. in the first Test of the five-match series beginning here at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
“We have prepped really well in Abu Dhabi and a lot of fitness in closed doors. We’ve made pitches, we’ve scuffed pitches, we’ve put sand down to make it spin, and we’ve flat pitches to practice simple and reverse swing. So, we’ve had all the facilities available in Abu Dhabi and we trained really hard in tense level,” the right arm fast bowler said.
“Now, we have to switch from hard training to match mode. Abu Dhabi gave what we need and we had a good team bonding session. So, we’ve come here fresh mentally and physically and ready to take the Indian challenge,” he added.
He also believes that they can tackle Indian attack with the experience of the senior players. “It’s always great to have experienced player like Jimmy (James Anderson) in the team. He was always happy to pass on his wisdom to the rest of the side. We know the challenges that India brings and it’s gonna be tough. We have to lean on experience from Pakistan and lean on Jimmy and Jack Leach, who bowled well before here,” he said.
The 34-year-old feels that Virat Kohli missing the first two matches will be a big blow to India. “Virat Kohli is obviously one of the best batsmen in the world. But the India line-up still has a bunch of quality players. Like I mentioned India very rarely lose at home. I think it’s almost like a bit of a free hit for us, where we can come in here and give it a good go, and try something different,” he said.
“We look at this tour as another chance to create history after setting history in Pakistan recently becoming the first England team to win all the games. We will try to beat India in their conditions,” he added.
“Indian conditions are different to play, you can get spin, and you can get bounce. India obviously are consistent in their own conditions and have developed a winning habit. We will try and break it by consolidating the chances that come our way and turn on pressure when needed,” he added.
Speaking on Indian pitches, he said: “We have enough self belief in our team that we can do something special. We’ve got spinners, seamers. We played some good cricket in the recent past. We are not used these pitches but we need to find a way.”