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Mark Wood admits stakes has been raised for Australia clash after washout in T20 World Cup opener

Mark Wood admits England's World Cup washout against Scotland has raised the stakes considerably ahead of their clash with Ashes rivals Australia.

Mark Wood admits England's World Cup washout against Scotland has raised the stakes considerably ahead of their clash with Ashes rivals Australia.

A downpour in Bridgetown meant just 10 overs were possible in the battle of the Britons, with England's pursuit of a difficult 109-run target never getting under way.

With both teams taking a point apiece, England's route into the Super 8 stage has been complicated and would only become more treacherous if they lost against their old foes in Barbados on Saturday.

Although they will be heavily fancied to finish strongly against Oman and Namibia in Antigua, the prospect of more rain-affected games and the vagaries of net run-rate could begin to bite.

But victory next time out would make all of those tensions disappear and go some way to clearing the hangover of England's torturous campaign in the 50-over World Cup late last year.

"The rivalry, the tournament… it's crucial now," said Wood. "Especially with weather around and the run-rates being tight, if we can get ahead there it will be easier when it gets down to the wire.

"You never need to get up for an Australia game but it's one that's got more importance because of the points.

"It puts a different spin on things if we win that game compared to losing. It all has a different look and feel.

"Lose and I'm sure in the media there will be questions asked like the last World Cup in India, so it'll be an important game for us and one we'll be desperately trying to win."

Wood will be hoping he did enough in his brief opportunity against Scotland to hold his place in the side, with head coach Matthew Mott revealing it was a knife-edge call between him and left-armer Reece Topley for the final spot.

The paceman was England's fastest and cheapest bowler, hitting 94mph at one stage and allowing only 11 runs from his two over spell.

He also came closest to making a breakthrough as his side failed to take a wicket with Scotland racking up 90 without loss.

Wood had George Munsey caught off a top-edge, only to be called for a front-foot no-ball. The moment could have proved costly had the game played out to a conclusion and he will be working to ensure no repeats.

"I haven't bowled many, it was a rare one so I'm pretty disappointed," he said.

"Getting the wicket off a no-ball hurts the team. That's the feeling I don't like, letting down my team-mates.

"I'm clutching at straws really because I don't know why it happened but (bowling coach) Neil Killeen was trying to get me not to think about it too much.

'You haven't got a problem' is what he said to me about four times as I was panicking coming into the dressing room, but it is something I will work on this week."

Footwork issues aside, Wood feels at home in the Caribbean — a cricketing culture that has produced some of the best fast bowlers in history.

It was in St Lucia back in 2018 that he took his maiden Test five-for, bowling at breakneck speed, and his ability to crank up the speed gun has not gone unnoticed.

"It is pretty cool bowling here, especially when you hear 'Mark Wood coming on at the Malcolm Marshall End' over the Tannoy. That was pretty special for me," he said.

"I was in a taxi the other day and the guy was saying he knew me. I said 'Mark Wood' and he said 'yeah you're nippy man, you're nippy!'.

"It is good to be here, have that sort of recognition and enjoy being in the Caribbean with those memories of St Lucia."

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