Ashes 2015: Mark Wood targets Shane Watson

Mark Wood
Durham seamer Mark Wood made his Test debut against New Zealand in May

England pace bowler Mark Wood says a past incident with Shane Watson has him looking forward to bowling to the Australian in this summer's Ashes.

As a young net bowler, Wood was once instructed to bounce all-rounder Watson by his Australia team-mate Mike Hussey.

"He called me a 'net hero' and said he would like to have a go at me," Wood told BBC Radio 5 live.

"Well, he's going to get his chance. Let's hope he remembers me, because he's going to get a few more bumpers."

Durham seamer Wood, 25, took nine wickets in the two-Test series against New Zealand after making his debut in the first match at Lord's.

And after featuring in the limited-overs matches against the Black Caps and being named in England's Ashes training squad, the right-armer looks set to take on Watson when the Ashes begin in Cardiff on 8 July.

Speaking to his close friend Steve Harmison in an interview to be broadcast on 5 live on Monday at 21:30 BST, Wood said: "Mike Hussey asked me to bounce Watson in the nets, to which I wasn't going to say no.

"I let him have one, he gloved it and didn't give me the best of looks. Next ball, Hussey said 'give it him again', so I bumped him again and this time he absolutely smoked it.

"He picked up the ball, threw it back down the wicket at me and called me a 'net hero'."

In a wide-ranging interview, Wood also talks about:

  • how he took football more seriously than cricket until the age of 16 or 17
  • not drinking alcohol and being popular with his team-mates as the "designated driver"
  • how he feels like he belongs in the dressing room, but will "keep his feet on the ground"
  • how he believes the international schedule will suit him more than county cricket.
Mark Wood
Wood revealed his imaginary horse during the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's

Fitness problems have restricted Wood to only 26 first-class matches since he made his debut in 2011, but he said being described as "injury prone" is a cause of frustration.

"I would describe myself as a wicket-taker, a skiddy and athletic bowler," said Wood. "I've accepted the fact I've had injuries because I was developing as a bowler and developing as a bloke.

"I've always been a slight lad and, in the last couple of years, looking after my body has stood me in good stead.

"People might be shocked that I have been picked for England, but I always felt that if I could stay on the park, I would do well."

Wood also described his "imaginary horse" which he rides when he "gets a little bit bored in the field".

"I used to have a medieval joust with my Durham team-mate Mark Stoneman," said Wood. "I had to feed my horse, pretend to carry him around and that was the joke.

"Coming from my Ashington background, it might not be a horse, but more of a pit pony."

Listen to the full interview with Mark Wood on BBC Radio 5 live from 21:30 BST on Monday.

BBC Radio coverage of the Ashes

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