Chris Woakes is hoping that by choosing to play in the County Championship rather than another season in the Indian Premier League, he will gain a spot in England’s starting lineup for the first Ashes Test at his home stadium of Edgbaston in July.
Chris Woakes is a member of England’s team for the three T20 matches against Bangladesh that will serve as the winter’s grand finale and start on Thursday. They have nine series, spread across six tours in five different nations.
The 34-year-old has been a stalwart in limited overs throughout that stretch, but is now considering what comes next and is prioritising the longest format. Since England’s disastrous trip of the Caribbean last year, when Chris Woakes played all three Test matches, including the third “when my body was creaking and sore,” Woakes has not participated in any first-class cricket. As a result, he sustained a knee injury and missed the entire home summer.
He chose against participating in the IPL auction because he was desperate for another opportunity to play Test cricket, despite having a good chance of landing a deal after winning the T20 World Cup.
He has participated in the competition three times, but this year he will play for Warwickshire. I would love to take part in it.”
“There were several considerations [that went into the decision],” he stated. “One, my body has never felt like it has returned from the IPL in the best shape for a summer Test, in my experience.
The transition from Twenty20 to Test cricket is significant for me. That transition has always been difficult for me. I haven’t played Test cricket in a year, so I think I’d need to get a few innings under my belt to have a chance to be considered for selection in what is currently a competitive team. This is a significant component. You must pick and select when to spend time away from your family after attending the ILT20 [in the UAE].
“Ben [Stokes] and Baz [McCullum] are doing really well right now; I love watching how they play. My record in England still stands up against anyone’s, therefore I would dearly love to be a part of it. I would like to think that I would be in the running if I can get “red-ball fit,” firing, and bowling well.
“But it’s a difficult team to get into, and some of the bowlers are really good. Recognizing that, I have the chance to perform at the beginning of the season. It would be amazing to be part of an Ashes series at home. What a great way to start the Ashes series with the first Test at Edgbaston.
The claim made by Chris Woakes that his domestic record rivals that of any fast bowler for England is accurate (almost all of whom are fit right now). Woakes’ statistics outside of England are appalling, but in England he averages 35.3 with the bat and 22.6 with the ball, which might prove crucial if Stokes is unable to bowl. Their averages with the bat and the ball are 61.2 and 11.3 respectively at Lord’s, the venue for two of England’s first three Test matches this summer.
Chris Woakes does not anticipate continuing to play into his forties, claiming that not even James Anderson and Stuart Broad can match that.
Jimmy has improved every year since he was 32 or 33, he claimed. “I don’t see me steaming in at 40, but you never know,” I think he is a bit of an outlier. You have to take care of yourself as professional cricket players, especially as bowlers. You can’t just show up and start having fun and hoping for the best. You must work hard in the gym, take care of your body, and act responsibly. Those guys did that, and now they are getting paid.
“You look at them, truly in awe of what they’ve accomplished. The past 5–6 years have been spent concentrating on a single format. At the moment, I don’t see myself doing that. Although I would like to continue competing in all three formats indefinitely, that choice might eventually be made for me.
Woakes’ knee problem was initially thought to be chronic, but after surgery and rest last summer, he claims it is “in as excellent a form as it has ever been” and “the rest of my body feels quite good,” too. He remarked, “I was simply glad to be playing cricket again when you miss a summer like I did last summer and then you have the operation.
I’ve been satisfied with the quantity of cricket I’ve backed up considering how my winter has gone. He still has to finish one more series before he dares to dream about the Ashes.
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