'We can nullify Kuldeep by denying him early wickets'

By PTI Published on Jul 17, 2018 02:53 PM IST

Leeds: Pacer Mark Wood today said that England should work on denying Indian wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav early success if his side are to win the third and series deciding ODI here.

Yadav has been the main tormentor of England as he has grabbed nine wickets in the two matches so far. He took 6/25 in India's eight-wicket win in the first match while he got 3/68 in the second ODI which his side lost by 86 runs.

"It's definitely a plus point for our players to bat well against him (Kuldeep; in the second match). I know he still took wickets but we managed to get some runs against him and put him under a little bit of pressure," Woods said at the pre-match press conference.

"I think the main thing is he keeps getting wickets in his first over. So I think that's the key going into this game. If he gets a wicket in early overs his confidence is up. So if we can try to nullify that wicket-taking option that he's got straight away, then hopefully we can shift the momentum against him to us," he said.

Wood said England will be considering the series finale against India as a must-win game akin to a World Cup semi-final or final to adapt to pressure situations accordingly.

Momentum is the right word. There was disappointment after the first game. We knew what we needed to address to get the second game right. It was a big performance in that game, a great win.

Eoin Morgan keeps the side pretty even making sure highs are not too high or lows too low.

We knew we needed to get better. It was not doom and gloom. We just knew what we needed to get better," he said.

"I think for Test match side of things, it is great to get certain people out or get runs against them but it is more of impact for World Cup. If we can use this game as a semi-final, or a 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 win. Over the past year we have dealt with these situations well and hopefully we can carry on that trend," he added.

Even so, Wood highlighted that the opposition are still of world class quality and they don't want to get carried away thinking too much about replicating a knock out contest. He said that England are not playing to prove a point.

"It is two very good sides, so when one is on top they are really on top. We have a few batsmen down the order who can score quickly. David Willey came in the other day when it was a little bit sticky and he managed to really press on. So I think big games call for big players. I definitely know Virat Kohli will be right up for it and he's the biggest of all. We've got to make sure we are at the same intensity and level that they are, Woods said.

Jason Roy suffers from injury  

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings has been called up to the England ODI squad as cover for opener Jason Roy for the third ODI.

Roy suffered a laceration to his right hand little finger during practice on Monday. He will undergo a fitness test before the game.