Mark Wood believes he can thrive alongside Tymal Mills at the Twenty20 World Cup and plans to cajole the left-armer into a speed gun rivalry akin to the one he had with Jofra Archer.
Wood was spurred on to bowl faster by Archer’s presence as England claimed a historic 50-over World Cup title two years ago, coming out on top of the duel by sending down a 95.7mph delivery in the final against New Zealand.
Archer’s longstanding elbow issues will preclude his involvement as England go in search of a limited-overs double in the next month but his Sussex team-mate Mills has shown he can easily breach the 90mph barrier.
There has been speculation that the slow pitches in the United Arab Emirates, where England play all their Super 12 games, starting against the West Indies next Saturday, might mean Wood and Mills are battling it out for one spot.
Wood, though, rebuffed the suggestion, insisting they could feature in the same XI together and, if so, he will be egging on his fellow quick to go all out in a pace-off.
“It worked for me and Jofra, so me and T might have to keep it going,” Wood said. “He’s looking the business at the minute (in the nets) so hopefully he can bring some fire and I’ll have to up my game as well.
“Jofra certainly helped me in the 50-over World Cup, and it would have been brilliant to have him. He’ll be a huge miss, I think, because the quality that he brings in Twenty20, he can put people on the back foot from ball one.
“It’s up to me and T to carry that forward. It’s nice that me and Jofra had played together and proved you can have two fast men in the side, not just one. So hopefully me and T can get a game or two together in the competition.”