Mark Wood has already picked up eight wickets in the first two matches of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season, including a five-wicket haul in the first game against Delhi Capitals (DC). Injuries have played a big part in Wood missing a huge chunk of matches for England and also in the IPL, where before this season, he had bowled four wicketless overs for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2018.
He was bought by Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) for INR 7.5 crore last season but an elbow injury kept him out. However, the franchise did not release him before the IPL 2023 auction, which Wood is grateful for.
“I don’t think I was really prepared for CSK at that time (2018). I’d just come off the back of a Test match tour [in New Zealand] and I hadn’t prepared well. That was my own fault, really; I went into that game a bit underprepared and didn’t do myself justice,” Wood said ahead of LSG's match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
“Coming back to the IPL, England have had such a big schedule, I’ve had injuries, time with my family – I’ve tried to factor all that in and it’s just never been a good time to come back. I would have come back last year but unfortunately, I had elbow surgery."
“I’m here this year and trying my best to contribute for Lucknow, trying to repay the faith that they’ve shown in me, sticking by me and picking me again. So far I’ve absolutely loved it: KL Rahul has been brilliant with me. The management have been excellent, keeping my role clear, what they expect… hopefully I can repay the faith that they’ve shown in me,” Wood added.
In the IPL 2023, Wood hopes to prove that he belongs at this level, after a bit of "unfinished business" in the tournament after a torrid time at CSK.
“[Aim is to] Try and prove a point, or to try and prove that I’m up to this standard. The last time I was at Chennai, I was nowhere near the mark really, was I? I played one match and I got smashed," Wood said.
“I felt like I had a bit of unfinished business, I guess, in terms of trying to come here and prove myself on a big stage. I’ve played for England in World Cup finals – both 50-over and T20 – but I hadn’t cracked the IPL, so this time, I’m trying my best to prove that I can mix it in the IPL with the best players."
After a loss against CSK, LSG will look to bounce back in their next game against SRH on Friday (April 7).