Mark Wood's pace down to a longer run-up

The rediscovery of Mark Wood's 90mph magic comes at the end of a Test winter in which he has reconfigured his approach to the crease.
The 29-year-old's enigmatic career took in a significant spike in fortunes this week when he was unleashed from his new longer run-up for the first time in Tests and took a maiden five-wicket haul against West Indies.
However, the exhilarating performance in St Lucia was not an overnight success but several months in the making, following extensive work with England bowling coach Chris Silverwood on the one-day tour of Sri Lanka last autumn. 
Silverwood encouraged the Durham man to ditch the distinctive push-off from a standing start — which he had used since boyhood, through multiple ankle operations — in a bid to reduce stress on his body.
The alterations are not a failsafe against further injury, and his splayed front foot still puts pressure on his susceptible joint, but building up momentum over a longer distance has returned Wood's confidence in his body's ability to produce pace in excess of 90mph over an entire spell.
Although the extension means he has lost some of the explosion through the crease that was previously thought to be key to generating his maximum speeds — he still believes his spell on Twenty20 finals day in 2016, when Joe Root said he made him feel like he had his hands on the wrong way round, is the fastest of his career — it has also rid him of occasional jerkiness that slowed him down on occasions.
The challenge now is for the England side to use it effectively in a year they have ambitions of both World Cup and Ashes glory.

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