Mark Wood is not a Geordie sure of his place in the England fast-bowling pecking order - but he is glad to be back. Figures of 1 for 57 on his first ODI appearance in almost a year were not as arresting as the fact that his fastest delivery was clocked at 92.7mph, during a hostile opening spell in which he helped put Pakistan on the back foot in the first match of the series in Southampton.

Following two operations on his left ankle, and ten months out of the England side, Wood has hurtled back into contention following a series of vibrant displays. A couple of his one-day squad-mates can attest to that, after a searing contribution to Durham's NatWest Blast semi-final win over Yorkshire on Saturday, in which he gave Joe Root a torrid working-over - five balls, several hurried prods, one run - and yorked Jonny Bairstow on the way to career-best T20 figures of 4 for 25.

Root, whose 61 helped England to a comfortable DLS victory on Wednesday, could barely lay a bat on Wood in their Finals Day encounter - a problem he has solved by giving it away to his tormentor. For Wood, it has been an immensely satisfying comeback after missing most of the winter and half of the English season recovering from his injured ankle.

"I had more than a little bit of frustration over the last few months," Wood said. "To come back with Durham so strongly is amazing. The coach there, Jon Lewis, and the way that the whole England medical team have looked after me, they deserve huge credit. Jon Lewis basically said to not worry about going for runs and to concentrate on taking wickets and that confidence and getting a few wickets and playing the role that I did at Durham gave me the confidence to come back to the England set-up fresh.

"That was my best Twenty20 bowling performance for sure. I haven't seen the paces but a couple of the Yorkshire lads said I bowled well and getting that recognition from international players is always nice. One of them in particular is a pretty good batsman so I was very happy that he was saying it was tough and I even just swapped a bat with him now so that must be some sort of recognition. I think it's because I bowled so well at him, Joe obviously wasn't so fond of that one so he's given it to me."

The surgery has allowed Wood to play without discomfort in his ankle when bowling and he believes that will enable him to maintain his pace from spell to spell, in particular over back-to-back matches, an area where there were previously concerns about his durability.

"I would say I'm consistently quicker," he said. "I wouldn't say quicker at my top speed, but I have not got the pain in the back of my ankle, which was causing me huge problems. People were saying I could not play back-to-back games, but it wasn't that I couldn't play back-to-back, [it was that] I couldn't bowl at 90mph every day and I'm a totally different bowler bowling 90mph to when I am bowling 80mph. I need that pace and with no pain in the back of my ankle, I find that a lot easier on my body and that allows me to do that. Consistently it is a lot better for me."

While Wood at top speed ranks among the quickest bowlers currently playing the game, he is less concerned than some about raw pace - "the analyst gets quite worked up when I come in and he says 'you're bowling at 92'" - and recognises he is more likely to be judged for England on wickets and economy. As Wood's first over, in which Sharjeel Khan picked up two boundaries, demonstrated, extra velocity can sometimes cut both ways. "I think the third ball, off Sharjeel's bat, went about 98mph, so he was winning that one."

Not that Wood will be looking to dial it down in pursuit of something more metronomically reliable. Having returned midway through the season, he has dived headlong into competitive action and believes he could still bowl quicker yet.

"I reckon I could, yeah. When you get that rhythm and match fitness back," he said. "I've been rushed back through to get some game-time having missed the first half of the summer, and I've been desperate to play so I've not really had that time where I've been getting used to bowling and bowling again. I've only played two Championship games, and in one of those I only bowled 14 overs. So if I get that match fitness back up, hopefully I can bowl even quicker."

Wood formed part of a three-man pace attack at the Ageas Bowl, alongside Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett. With David Willey hopeful of returning to action after the hand injury he sustained on Finals Day, Chris Jordan and Jake Ball also in the squad, Steven Finn recuperating from a hamstring tear and James Anderson and Stuart Broad filling out the options for the Test side, England look like having a considerable seam battery to call upon.

For now, Wood is focused on proving himself worthy of a place - England have still to see the best of him in ODIs, with six wickets from eight appearances at an average of 66.83 - but there is another layer of uncertainty due to his contractual situation at Durham. Should his central contract not be renewed by the ECB, there are doubts about whether Durham could afford to retain him, but reigniting his international career remains the quickest (in every sense) route to a resolution.

"It's complicated off the field at Durham, everyone knows there are issues there," Wood said. "My situation is to focus solely on getting back in the England team first. I love the north-east, I'm a north-east lad.

"Am I confident of a central contract? I wouldn't say so, but I know that part of the reason that we give out central contracts is to look after fast bowlers and things like that. If I was to fall into that category that would be brilliant. Getting looked after by such a superb medical team that I talked about before, they've been superb with us. They've looked after me tremendously well, to be honest.

"So I wouldn't say I'm confident because I've not played for England for a long time, and throughout this year I probably haven't deserved to get another one, so we'll just have to wait and see. But in terms of Durham, I'm focusing on England at the moment and I'll see what happens there come September."

Alan Gardner is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick