Fast bowler Mark Wood prefers putting his feet up in the dressing room before his bowling workload but he made an exception on Tuesday to witness an astonishing display of power-hitting by captain Eoin Morgan in Manchester.
Morgan smashed an astounding 17 sixes – a new one-day international record – as part of a game-changing knock of 148 from 71 deliveries against Afghanistan as England cruised home to a convincing 150-run victory.
Wood believes Morgan’s audacious ball striking, which helped England to a massive 397-6, sums up the team’s fearless approach to one-day cricket in recent years.
“It was amazing, amazing,” Wood told reporters. “Coming off his back injury scare and stuff, and not knowing how he would play or feel, I was just astounded by how well he played.”
“A lot of the bowlers tend to sit in the back of the dressing room and try and relax but even I came out and watched that because it was great to see on such a big occasion.”
“I know we’ve played like this for four years now, and there’s been some remarkable things, but to do it in a World Cup game speaks volumes about how Eoin wants the team to play and the values we’ve kept going throughout those four years.”
England are peaking at the right time in the tournament and have put their sole defeat by Pakistan well behind them.
Morgan’s men have stepped up with bat and ball. Four of their batsmen have hit hundreds so far – no other team have more than two – and the new-ball pairing of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood have claimed 21 wickets between them.
But for now the England bowlers are happy to slip under the radar and let the batsmen hog the limelight.
“I thought today, collectively, we bowled really well,” added Wood, who took two wickets against the Afghans while Archer and spinner Adil Rashid both picked up three each.
“It’s nice to go under the radar, I guess, a little bit. The batters can do the fireworks and we can go just go about the things we’ve been doing well.”
England next face Sri Lanka at Headingley on Friday, before taking on champions Australia at Lord’s on Tuesday.