Wood roughed up all of Australia’s batsmen in the record-breaking five-wicket victory at the MCG, including big-hitting David Warner, who he dismissed with a bouncer that was gloved to Joe Root at slip.
During the recent Ashes series, England’s bowling was badly exposed for its lack of speed while the Aussies’ three-pronged pace attack breathed fire.
The 28-year-old Wood missed the whole series and there are constant fears his ongoing ankle problems will scupper a return to the five-day line-up.
His last game in an England shirt before Sunday’s one-dayer was a Test – only his 10th in two years – against South Africa last July and England’s new bowling coach Chris Silverwood believes Wood can return in the longer format.
“We’ll keep working with him, pushing him forward and keep nursing him through and if we do that I don’t see why not,” he said.
Silverwood, who has just started in his new role after Ottis Gibson’s departure to coach South Africa, was full of praise for Wood, who clocked 93mph at the MCG.
The Durham man’s first ball of the match was a bouncer to Warner and Silverwood raved: “That first ball he sent down – he said he was going to do it and he did. I love that.
“He puts his money where his mouth is and he’s got a lot of grit about him. He was really impressive – the fastest bowler out there.
“The intent we put out there straightaway was brilliant – absolutely brilliant.”
Wood’s performance was all the more impressive because in the continuing absence of Ben Stokes, England’s bowling options are limited.
Opening bowler Chris Woakes, who struggled in the Ashes, was wayward at the start but skipper Eoin Morgan was forced to give him his full 10-over allocation.
Silverwood said: “The great thing about Chris was that when he came back at the death, he bowled beautifully. He really got himself back in the game so that’s a huge positive for me. The more he plays, the more he bowls, the rhythm he gets, the better we’ll see him get.”
And the coach reckons Australia’s batsmen can expect plenty more of the short stuff at the Gabba on Friday.
He said: “We saw in the Test matches how the Australian bowlers were aggressive with us – let’s go back at them and be aggressive as well.”
Silverwood even backed Wood’s quirky decision to shorten his run-up at a moment’s notice to try to shock the batsman.
“He’s got the ability to turn round and bowl off the short run and still be as quick,” he said. “It can disrupt you as a batsman so it’s a very good weapon that he’s got tucked up his sleeve that he can use when he feels the time is right.”
Silverwood, who played six Tests for England in the 90s, was a seriously quick bowler himself for Yorkshire and Middlesex but, like Wood, his career was blighted by injury.
As head coach of Essex last summer, he steered the county to their first championship title for 25 years and is now on a mission to help unearth the next generation of England quicks. “The fast bowlers are out there, you just have to bring them through,” he said.
Silverwood cited Sussex’s George Garton and Somerset’s Jamie Overton, whose brother Craig featured in England’s doomed Ashes bid.
“Jamie is aggressive, in your face, and not shy of bowling his bouncer. He’s got a lot of fight about him,” he said.
“But they’re young and they need nurturing to bring them through. Fast bowling is not easy on your body and you’ve got to accept at some point as a fast bowler you’re just going to get injured. It’s part and parcel of the job.”