Mark Wood and Dawid Malan will have every chance of playing in the T20 World Cup final against Pakistan and there were encouraging signs, with both players looking reasonably comfortable during a net session at the MCG on the eve of the game.

The pair passed a fitness test when Wood played in the outside net while Malan faced knockdowns from Mike Hussey.

“They are both improving,” Jos Buttler said before training. “Of course, it hasn’t been too many days since I haven’t been fit enough for the semi-final, but again, we’ll give them every chance we can.”

If the duo returned, it would be in place of Phil Salt and Chris Jordan. Wood has always been the fastest bowler in the tournament. They had both suffered injuries in England’s last Super 12 game – their four-wicket win over Sri Lanka In Sydney

“Malan and Wood are definitely struggling,” Mott said on Friday. “We will keep an open mind. But there is a short delay between games, with a day of travel and then directly with a training session. There is not much time for them.

“I would like to keep some hope for them. It’s disappointing. They’ve been two great players for us, especially last month. Those are big losses.

“But it’s a real risk to take injured players into big games and I think you can really regret that, especially when you have players who can come in and do a good job. Sometimes you play when you don’t have that depth, but when you have players who can play a role, I think it makes the decision a lot easier. It would have to go well for them to be available at the moment.”

Wood’s injury was initially described as muscle stiffness by the England side, but he revealed on his Good rhythm for the radio podcast that he strained his four-ball hip flexor in his debut game against Sri Lanka.

“In the end, I managed to get through two bullets at the end and I thought if I could get through those two bullets, my adrenaline was obviously going,” he said. “I managed to pass two more overs at the end of the innings.

“The next day I had had time to calm down and the adrenaline had worn off, and I had a little problem with my right hip. I had a CT scan and everything, I took a look at it and I did my best to I managed to play the last game, but I couldn’t play at the speed or intensity required to play for England.

“Hopefully if necessary I can try to get it right for this game [the final]. I don’t know if I will be able to. The team played very well last game, but if the captain desperately needs me and I’m fit enough, I’ll put my name in the hat like everyone else.”

England management may be wary of Wood taking the risk of aggravating his injury ahead of their Pakistan test series next month, but he insisted his only target is Sunday’s final. “Yes this [tour] is important, but honestly I don’t look beyond that,” he said. “I want the team and everyone to be successful here and we played fantastic in the last game. It was just a bit of a scramble for me where I was trying to see if I could get to the required level and I just couldn’t make it.”