Mark Wood
Mark Wood (AFP Photo)

England pacer Mark Wood is elated at the Test call-up as a replacement for injured Olly Stone for the Windies tour and is eagerly looking forward to it.

Stone was hampered by a back stiffness before scans confirmed he the extent of injury that was serious enough for him to be ruled out.

“I’m over the moon,” the 29-year-old was quoted as saying by talkSport on Friday. “Obviously it’s not nice for Stoney. I’ve been in his position when you get injured and somebody else comes in to replace you, but his loss is my gain.”

Wood has played 12 Tests so far since making his debut in 2015 in which he has 30 wickets at 41.73. He is taking inspiration from another fellow Ashington-born and former England international Steve Harmison who collected 23 wickets during the 2004 Test series.

“Hopefully I can go out there and have a positive impact on the team. Harmy set a pretty high standard as a lad from Ashington, so I’m going to have to do pretty well to beat him. But I’m really looking forward to it,” Wood said.

England start the three-Test series as firm favourites on the back of a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka last year. However, Wood feels West Indies will offer a stiff challenge and are not to be taken lightly.

“My first tour was actually to the West Indies with England and everyone was saying we should roll over them – ‘it will be 3-0’ – but we ended up drawing the series 1-1 and they played some pretty good cricket,” Wood recalled.

He continued, “They always get up for an England series and it will not be as easy as people think. But I certainly do feel we are favourites with the exciting squad we’ve got and the performances we’ve just put in in Sri Lanka. It’s not easy to win there, so if we can do that I’m sure we can win in the West Indies.”