> Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Wickets tally satisfy Chris Woakes over column inches
Woakes, despite his record in England and his strong showing against West Indies, knows he could be left on the outer.
A piece in The Financial Times over the weekend said Test cricket was undergoing somewhat of a resurgence after the England-West Indies series last month. The domestic football season has finished and other sports are not yet fully up and running while a number of sports, including football, have been mired in unflattering issues of their own making. As a result, the virtues of Test cricket took centre stage for a change. Chris Woakes, however, is a cricketer who is perfectly happy to remain in the background.
That's a good thing, really. Arguably, Woakes very often doesn't get the attention and recognition his exploits deserve. He was a crucial piece of England's World Cup win last summer, the leader of their attack, for instance. At home, his average with the ball in Test cricket is 22.53. He took a fourth five-wicket haul in 21 Tests in England in the deciding third Test against West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford last week. He is a fine all-round cricketer and yet he rarely elicits much comment. "Honestly I really, really don't mind," he said on Monday (August 3). "I'm not one for being the centre of attention."
Woakes's attitude shouldn't be mistaken for a lack of ambition or desire to do well, of course. It's simply that he takes his satisfaction not from the amount of column inches he gets but from the number of wickets he takes. "Don't get me wrong, I want to go on the field and perform and I want to make match-winning performances for England," he said. "But it really doesn't bother me if I'm first choice to write about or not, to be brutally honest. My stats have been mentioned, they are very good in England and I want to keep working on those, keep improving on them, keep them as good as they can be."
After a break of a little over a week, England resume their Test match season on Wednesday with the start of a three-Test series against Pakistan. Competition for places in the fast-bowling department is fierce after good showings from Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran against West Indies, as well as Woakes himself. If Ben Stokes is fit to bowl - he wasn't for the final Test against the men from the Caribbean - that means there is likely to be places for just three of those quicks. Woakes, despite his record in England and his strong showing against West Indies, knows he could be left on the outer.
"I hope I've done enough to be in that starting XI," he said. "But competition is high at the minute, we've got still two of England's greats charging in and taking wickets every time they play and we've got exciting fast bowlers as well. It's not an easy team to be cemented in. My record in England is brilliant, I'm obviously pleased with that, I want to keep getting better, improving myself. And every time I get the opportunity to play for England, home or away, I give 110% and try to do my best for the team.
"I'm really pleased with how it went in the last series against West Indies, I was really pleased to get the nod in the last Test match, and thankfully was able to show what I can do and put in a strong performance. Hopefully it's enough to keep me in the team for this week, but selection is not an easy thing and I'm in a position where I've done really well, and if I'm selected then great, but if not I'll get myself ready for whenever the next game is."
Woakes is a multi-faceted bowler. In the second Test against West Indies, he opened the bowling with Broad while in the final game, he came on second and then first change. "I suppose it depends on the make-up of the team and the attack, really," Woakes said. "In the first Test match I played - the second Test against West Indies - I was picked to take the new ball along with Stuart. Therefore your role is a little bit different: you're a new ball bowler, you're there to attack with the new ball.
"If I'm playing with Jimmy and Broady, like I was last week, and Jofra, it probably changes a little bit. I'm probably going to be coming on first or second change, the ball is going to be a little bit older. That generally doesn't necessarily always bother me too much because generally the lacquer is off the ball and it might move a little bit more in the air. My role changes from game to game I suppose sometimes. But nothing really changes: you've still got to try and hit the top of off as much as possible, make the batsman play and hopefully you get your rewards that way.
"I think every bowler will say they prefer a newer ball to bowl with. That's generally when it will do as much and quicker off the pitch with a newer ball. I actually don't mind: I've spent my whole career playing for Warwickshire bowling with the new ball and most of my career with England with the slightly older one. I learned to bowl with both. Of course, I would prefer a newer ball, I think, but at the same time I'm just as effective now and as good with the slightly older one as well."
Woakes made his debut for England in 2013 but it was not until the 2016 series against Pakistan at home, which was drawn 2-2, that he started to really show his Test credentials. He took 26 wickets at 16.73 and averaged 35.40 with the bat. "I've got good memories of that summer. It was kind of a breakthrough for me in the Test team," Woakes said. "The winter prior to that in South Africa didn't go as well as I'd liked. I doubted whether I was going to get another opportunity.
"That was a real big turning point for me, 2016. I found a bit of rhythm, got the ball moving in the air and bowled at decent pace that summer. Hopefully I can draw on those memories for this series coming up. I feel like I've changed as a cricketer since then: with experience and time you develop new skills. But also I feel like I've become a lot more consistent, both as a cricketer and as a person as well. The older you get and you learn your game a little bit more. Hopefully I can bring some of that form to this series."
If he does, you can be sure of one thing: you won't find Woakes seeking out the limelight.
Samson's blitz, Tewatia's smarts help RR pip CSK
Sanju Samson hit nine sixes in his 32-ball 74. Rajasthan Royals overcame problems of depleted resources, and a lost toss to successfully defend a total, and got off to ...
Live Cricket Score - RR vs CSK, Match 4, IPL 2020
Sanju Samson smashed 9 sixes in his 32-ball 74. RR win by 16 runsThree sixes for MS Dhoni in that final over reduces the margin of defeat and takes ...
Dinesh Karthik talks up KKR's bowling variety
Kuldeep Yadav picked up just 4 wickets from 9 games last season. As Kolkata Knight Riders embark on their Indian Premier League 2020 journey, it's easy to focus too ...
Boult awaits 'big' Russell challenge
Boult conceded just 23 runs in 3.2 overs and scalped Shane Watson in the tournament opener Even as Mumbai Indians failed to defend 162 in the IPL 2020 opener ...
India women cricketers 'anxious' about future - Mithali
Ultimate goal is to play 360 degrees: Alyssa Healy
Somerset confident of jumping the final hurdle
Craig Overton has led the team's wicket charts (third-highest overall) with 28 scalps Somerset have never won the County Championship. Because of COVID-19, they won't win ...
Chat with Kohli was about bowling attacking lines: Chahal
The legspinner picked up 3 for 18 in difficult conditions to help RCB defend 163 With the score reading 121 for 2 and Jonny Bairstow at the crease, Sunrisers Hyderabad ...
Beaumont, bowlers set up huge win for England
Beaumont scored 62 off 49. A crafty half-century from opener Tammy Beaumont coupled with a disciplined bowling performance allowed England to register a crushing win over West Indies in ...
Lanning named Melbourne Stars captain in WBBL
The 28-year-old had captained the Stars in the opening two seasons of WBBL Meg Lanning has been announced as the new captain of Melbourne Stars in the Women'...