AT 27, Mark Wood has still played only 42 first-class games, including ten Tests. So little wonder he admits: “It would be nice to get through a season.”

His comeback from yet another injury went well this week as he made a career-best 72 not out for Durham against Kent and took three wickets in the visitors' first innings.

After recovering from his second ankle operation last winter, he was out for six weeks with a bruised heel and confessed it happened because he wore the wrong insoles in his boots.

“That was a bit dumb,” he said. “My ankle feels a bit grubby but that's normal and I'm pleasantly pleased with the way I feel.

“After six weeks out my rhythm and timing weren't quite there, so I was not at my quickest. But in three games for Durham hopefully everything will click into place.”

With the match at Emirates Riverside being seriously interrupted by the weather yesterday, Wood was able to watch his successor in the Test team, Toby Roland-Jones, enjoying more success.

“I don't like watching because I'd much rather be playing. But I feel I should be watching to see what's going on,” he said.

After the final day of the match against Kent he and the rest of the Durham team have another week's rest before the home match against Sussex starts on Tuesday week, followed by the final game at Worcester.

Wood had been told by national selector James Whitaker he would not be involved in next Saturday's T20 international on his home ground or the one-day international series which follows.

“He said they want me to get some miles in my legs. It was disappointing because I never want to miss games for England, but the bigger picture is looking ahead to a winter tour. I have to prove I can get through a lot of overs.

“I want to play for England in all formats and I need to score more runs. I have more in me than I have shown, but it's hard when you are putting all your energy into bowling.

“I probably don't hit enough balls in game time, but when I'm injured it's nice to concentrate on batting when that's the one thing I can do.”

Wood's ability with the bat has been known since he made 45 not out on his county championship debut at Trent Bridge six years ago. He made his maiden half-century at the same venue two years later and until this week his highest score of 66 had also been made against Nottinghamshire, this time at Riverside in his only Durham appearance of 2015.

He had not previously scored more than 36 against any other county, but profited from being dropped at second slip on eight against Kent to hit nine fours in reaching his third 50 off 64 balls.