Australia have new supporter: England bowler Mark Wood

Staff WritersAAP
Mark Wood shouts after a delivery to Mitchell Marsh but he now needs a favour from Australia. (AP PHOTO)
Camera IconMark Wood shouts after a delivery to Mitchell Marsh but he now needs a favour from Australia. (AP PHOTO) Credit: AAP

Mark Wood will grit his teeth and hope for an Australia win on Saturday as resurgent England look to secure a place in the next round of the T20 World Cup.

He is also sure that Australia will "play hard and fair" despite Josh Hazlewood's mischievous comments that it would be in his side's best interests to help eliminate England.

The reigning champions took a big step towards the Super 8 stage with a crushing victory over Oman, chasing down a meagre target of 48 in a tournament record of 19 deliveries, but their fate is not entirely in their own hands.

With net run-rate now favouring England, a positive result against Namibia will take them to the cusp of qualification but Scotland can still edge them out if they conjure a huge upset against the Australians a few hours later.

Paceman Hazlewood stirred the pot by claiming his side would be open to manipulating the situation to oust England, but it is realistically unthinkable that they would compromise the result of a World Cup match.

Yet, with everything riding on the last group game, the Durham-born seamer is ready to change the habit of a lifetime and cheer on the men in green and gold.

"I know I'm close to the Scottish border and Australia and Scotland are England's rivals... but we'll obviously be supporting Australia because we're trying to get through," he said.

"We have got to show a little bit more and then fingers crossed for Australia. Then when you are through to that next stage every team can go on from there.

"I'm absolutely confident they'll play the game their hardest, that's the Australian way. They'll play hard and fair and try to get the win."

Responding to Hazlewood's earlier comments, which suggested manoeuvring England out would be in his side's "best interests", Wood was happy to take the compliment.

"I think I saw it more as a respect thing if I'm honest," he said. "He was saying England have done well against Australia in the recent past and he thinks we're a big threat. I had no problem with it. It's all part of England versus Australia."

The tournament seeding system means England already know their next opponent if they qualify, with co-hosts the West Indies awaiting in St Lucia next Thursday.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails