ABU DHABI - England are tapping-in to baseball expertise in a bid to overcome Pakistan during the forthcoming limited-overs matches.
Several England batsmen have been working with Julian Wood who has spent the past four years developing techniques with Major League baseball team Texas Rangers.
Wood, who played 55 List A matches for Hampshire between 1989 and 1993, has been Stateside working with former Rangers hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.
And the 46-year-old all-rounder and has now been drafted in by England to try and replicate some of baseball's slugging power in cricket. He has already helped England Lions ahead of their five-match series against South Africa A earlier this year.
Wood has been working with the Lions at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough and Andy Flower, the ECB's director of elite coaching, said: "Julian has worked with us before, done a really good job and so we are taking him out to the UAE. The results we had out in South Africa were outstanding. To beat the South Africans in their own backyard took some great cricket and to see how Jason Roy was at the start of last winter and how he grew was really nice.”
"Part of our job is to offer options to players and they make decisions about whether they want to adopt things. This is a little exposure to a guy who has played a bit of cricket but also studied baseball hitting, and it's nice to bring in a different take on hitting the ball, with the emphasis on T20 cricket and some of the power game associated with 50-over cricket. We all recognise the importance of the option to hit the ball hard and this is quite a fun, exciting and different way of addressing this subject.”
Following their Test series defeat by Pakistan, England face the same opposition in four ODIs and three T20s from November 11-30.