Australia in England 2012 July 3, 2012

Woakes aims for Edgbaston lift

53

Chris Woakes is desperate to put his injury problems behind him and take his latest opportunity to establish himself as an international cricketer. Woakes was added to the England ODI squad for the five-match series against Australia due to the unavailability of other bowlers and could well make his first ODI performance in England on his home ground of Edgbaston on Wednesday.

When Woakes came into the England limited-overs sides, it appeared he had a bright future at international level. He helped England to victory with the bat on debut - in a Twenty20 match against Australia in Adelaide he pulled the fourth ball he faced in international cricket, a short delivery from Shaun Tait, for six and scored the winning run from the final delivery. He then claimed 6 for 45 in his second ODI - the second best figures by an England bowler in an ODI, behind Paul Collingwood's 6 for 31 - to underline his ability at the top level.

Progress since then has been fitful, however. Perhaps partly as a result of his heavy workload in county cricket, Woakes suffered shin and thigh injuries and then, on Warwickshire's pre-season tour of Barbados in March, tore his ankle ligaments when sliding to stop a ball in the field. Despite the promising start, he has played just four ODIs and three T20 internationals.

He is still only 23, however, and his county form remains exceptional. Last season Woakes scored 579 runs in 16 first-class innings at an average of 48.25 and took 56 wickets at an average of 21.78, while in three championship matches this season, he is averaging under 20 with the ball and more than 80 with the bat. If he could sustain his fitness for a longer period of time, he might well apply some pressure for Tim Bresnan's Test place.

"It's fantastic to be in the squad and involved again and nice to know the selectors are thinking of me," Woakes said. "I've had a few injury problems, but they're in the past now. I'm feeling fresh and I'm over that. I've been in the gym and I'm stronger in certain areas where I needed to improve and feel my cricket is going in the right direction. I'm desperate to play."

There is no guarantee that he will, though. While Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker are absent - both Surrey players will attend Tom Maynard's funeral on Wednesday and Dernbach also has an injury that has ruled him out of the series - England still hope that James Anderson will have recovered from his groin strain to return to the team.

With an important Test series against South Africa looming, it is unlikely England will risk Anderson if there are any lingering doubts over his fitness. But, if England do win this game to take an unassailable 3-0 win in the series, there may be more opportunities for rotation in the last couple of game.

In the longer term, Woakes' advantage over the likes of Meaker and Dernbach is his ability with the bat. His disadvantage may be a perceived lack of pace - he bowls in the low 80mph most of the time - but he feels he is gradually improving in all areas.

"My bowling, at the moment anyway, is more suited to first-class cricket and, I think, the Test game," he said. "I have the ability to swing the ball and to work out a batsman's weaknesses and I've improved every year. My stock ball is the outswinger, but I tend to try an inswinger quite early in a batsman's innings. Quite often, though, it's the natural variation that brings the wickets.

"The aim is to play for England for a long period of time. I want to become a Warwickshire legend, but it would even better to be an England legend as well. When you look who is fighting for bowling places, though, it's very tough. Anderson and Broad are fantastic bowlers and, with England playing only three or even two seamers at the moment, it's very hard to look past them. If I'd come along ten years ago, I'd probably been playing by now.

"I see my route into the side is as a genuine allrounder, batting at six or seven. So Tim Bresnan is the one that I have to get past. I have improved - and become quicker - as a bowler every season and there are times I think: 'Look at the stats; what more do I have to do?'"

It is perhaps Woakes' composure that is his most impressive trait. While he has known failure on the pitch, he has also shown a welcome ability to bounce back, as his memories of his worst moments on a cricket pitch underline.

"I conceded 27 runs off three balls in a T20 quarterfinal against Kent at Edgbaston in 2008," Woakes said. "I was no-balled twice and taken out of the attack by the umpires for bowling two no-balls for full tosses above waist height. One of the no-balls was hit for six and I was hit for a six and two fours off the legitimate balls.

I was 19 at the time and I felt I'd lost the game for the team: I was distraught. But none of the guys said much about it. They just said 'bad luck' and we got on with it. Two days later, we played a championship game at Uxbridge and I took seven wickets in the game including five in the second innings."

It would be special for Woakes to play in front of a home crowd. One of his earliest cricketing memories is watching Warwickshire win the 1993 Nat West final - the game where Asif Din scored a century - and he first came for trials at Edgbaston when he was ten years old.

He describes himself as "a Warwickshire Bear through and through" and is relishing the chance to line-up alongside two other Warwickshire players - Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell - in front of a near-capacity crowd.

While some tickets are available, more than 20,000 have been sold. Tellingly, however, after their experience with a rain-ruined Test and at a recent T20 game between Warwickshire and Worcestershire, the club have insured not just for ticket sales, but for retail sales, too.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 5, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    @JG2704, He did manage to get rid of Clarke with a good reversing full ball at Lord's. There's no doubt he's better suited to bowling later. I think it's pretty clear that Andy Flower already knows that though.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (July 04 2012, 15:28 PM GMT) I do feel that Bres has gone off the boil in ODIs lately but you've got me thinking. We all know Bres is better with the older ball so I guess having 2 new balls per inns would hamper his game. In this situation I'm surprised they don't bowl him a little later. Maybe he could bowl between 15 and 24 overs and then 40-50 overs. Dernbach seems reasonably tight to begin with and goes for runs towards the end.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    @Meety on (July 04 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) I know what you're saying and you could be right but 1 - Bres actually averages better for England than he does for Yorks (both with bat and ball) . Now admittedly those averages may be inflated by playing weak opposition but it also could be that he has improved that much since playing for England and his county averages won't get better if he doesn't play for them 2- At the moment he aves 40 with bat and 26 with ball so until his averages worsen or he gets injured Woakes will stay on the outside.

  • glance_to_leg on July 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    I do not understand the obsession with pace. A good bowler (eg McGrath) really does not have to bowl that fast, and it is not uncommon to see bowlers lose their control as they strive to push up the speed at which they deliver. There is a similar problem with the obsession with the fact spinners need a mystery ball. The don't, as Swann has amply demonstrated. I do hope Woakes gets his chance: he looks a nice alternative to Bres (don't knock the latter, he is excellent, competitive, clearly well-liked in the team, and will probably finish his career with better international figures than Flintoff) to have up our sleeve. I hope no one ever again suggests picking Stokes who might be a decent bat, but seems uninspiring as a bowler and, unlike Bres and Woakes, to lack the big match temperament.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    "Why does it always rain on me... is it because Australia picked the wrong team and are staring 5-0 in the UK scene..."

  • on July 4, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    On Bresnan, he is clearly one of, if not the best old ball bowlers anywhere. Not quite sure why people don't see this, maybe they are just not watching, but when people talk about Broad getting bounce or Anderson being good with the new ball and then questioning Brezzers ability to bring something to the table, I just don't think they have the first clue about bowling. Brez asks questions that Englands other bowlers haven't even thought of with his reverse and his knack to get the old ball to nip off exactly the right length, he just keeps on coming and can often nip out high quality, well set batsmen on good batting wickets when others are being handled with ease. There is no question in my mind he is one of the most skilful bowlers getting around and his absence showed up in the UAE last year. And that coming from an Aussie.

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Looks like rain will save Australia from a whitewash. Shame.

  • SDHM on July 4, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    @Landl47 - from what I've followed of Woakes, he seems fairly solid temperamentally. He's dug Warwickshire out of a few holes with the bat and is often the man they turn to if they need a partnership broken, and he didn't look flustered at all when he came in in Australia, so I'm not worried about that at all. What I've said I am unsure of is what he does if the ball doesn't swing - he went for a lot of runs in Australia in a couple of innings when the ball stayed straight. Bresnan is a well rounded bowler nowadays, capable of swing and reverse swing, bowling tightly and roughing sides up with bouncers as and when any of them are needed. That's what Woakes has to look at doing with his game.

  • threeslipsandagully on July 4, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    @RandyOZ - He's not even a batsman. Consisdering some of the mugs capped by Australia (Peter Forrest? Really?) I'd say both Woakes and Bairstow would walk into the Australian side.

  • landl47 on July 4, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @Meety: At the risk of incurring Peter Bryant's wrath, I agree with you. Bresnan is a whole-hearted cricketer who will never let anyone down, but I think he's been fortunate both in the games he's been selected for and in some of his performances. If he has a test career of, say, 50 matches, I would expect him to have a batting average of around 30 and a bowling average maybe 28. Let's be clear, those are still very good figures for an all-rounder, just not as good as he has at present. We really don't know with Woakes, but he certainly has more potential, in my view. However, once you start talking about potential, the names Hick and Ramprakash loom like the iceberg in front of the Titanic. I'd like to see Woakes played as the 5th bowler and #8 bat (behind Bresnan in both cases) so he can play a role without being the go-to guy at this point. It'll be clear soon enough whether he has the bottle to be a top-class player.

  • on July 5, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    @JG2704, He did manage to get rid of Clarke with a good reversing full ball at Lord's. There's no doubt he's better suited to bowling later. I think it's pretty clear that Andy Flower already knows that though.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (July 04 2012, 15:28 PM GMT) I do feel that Bres has gone off the boil in ODIs lately but you've got me thinking. We all know Bres is better with the older ball so I guess having 2 new balls per inns would hamper his game. In this situation I'm surprised they don't bowl him a little later. Maybe he could bowl between 15 and 24 overs and then 40-50 overs. Dernbach seems reasonably tight to begin with and goes for runs towards the end.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    @Meety on (July 04 2012, 13:00 PM GMT) I know what you're saying and you could be right but 1 - Bres actually averages better for England than he does for Yorks (both with bat and ball) . Now admittedly those averages may be inflated by playing weak opposition but it also could be that he has improved that much since playing for England and his county averages won't get better if he doesn't play for them 2- At the moment he aves 40 with bat and 26 with ball so until his averages worsen or he gets injured Woakes will stay on the outside.

  • glance_to_leg on July 4, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    I do not understand the obsession with pace. A good bowler (eg McGrath) really does not have to bowl that fast, and it is not uncommon to see bowlers lose their control as they strive to push up the speed at which they deliver. There is a similar problem with the obsession with the fact spinners need a mystery ball. The don't, as Swann has amply demonstrated. I do hope Woakes gets his chance: he looks a nice alternative to Bres (don't knock the latter, he is excellent, competitive, clearly well-liked in the team, and will probably finish his career with better international figures than Flintoff) to have up our sleeve. I hope no one ever again suggests picking Stokes who might be a decent bat, but seems uninspiring as a bowler and, unlike Bres and Woakes, to lack the big match temperament.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    "Why does it always rain on me... is it because Australia picked the wrong team and are staring 5-0 in the UK scene..."

  • on July 4, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    On Bresnan, he is clearly one of, if not the best old ball bowlers anywhere. Not quite sure why people don't see this, maybe they are just not watching, but when people talk about Broad getting bounce or Anderson being good with the new ball and then questioning Brezzers ability to bring something to the table, I just don't think they have the first clue about bowling. Brez asks questions that Englands other bowlers haven't even thought of with his reverse and his knack to get the old ball to nip off exactly the right length, he just keeps on coming and can often nip out high quality, well set batsmen on good batting wickets when others are being handled with ease. There is no question in my mind he is one of the most skilful bowlers getting around and his absence showed up in the UAE last year. And that coming from an Aussie.

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    Looks like rain will save Australia from a whitewash. Shame.

  • SDHM on July 4, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    @Landl47 - from what I've followed of Woakes, he seems fairly solid temperamentally. He's dug Warwickshire out of a few holes with the bat and is often the man they turn to if they need a partnership broken, and he didn't look flustered at all when he came in in Australia, so I'm not worried about that at all. What I've said I am unsure of is what he does if the ball doesn't swing - he went for a lot of runs in Australia in a couple of innings when the ball stayed straight. Bresnan is a well rounded bowler nowadays, capable of swing and reverse swing, bowling tightly and roughing sides up with bouncers as and when any of them are needed. That's what Woakes has to look at doing with his game.

  • threeslipsandagully on July 4, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    @RandyOZ - He's not even a batsman. Consisdering some of the mugs capped by Australia (Peter Forrest? Really?) I'd say both Woakes and Bairstow would walk into the Australian side.

  • landl47 on July 4, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    @Meety: At the risk of incurring Peter Bryant's wrath, I agree with you. Bresnan is a whole-hearted cricketer who will never let anyone down, but I think he's been fortunate both in the games he's been selected for and in some of his performances. If he has a test career of, say, 50 matches, I would expect him to have a batting average of around 30 and a bowling average maybe 28. Let's be clear, those are still very good figures for an all-rounder, just not as good as he has at present. We really don't know with Woakes, but he certainly has more potential, in my view. However, once you start talking about potential, the names Hick and Ramprakash loom like the iceberg in front of the Titanic. I'd like to see Woakes played as the 5th bowler and #8 bat (behind Bresnan in both cases) so he can play a role without being the go-to guy at this point. It'll be clear soon enough whether he has the bottle to be a top-class player.

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on July 4, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    It's long past time Woakes was given a chance. He's one of the players whom I look out for every match (after checking the Lancs score of course!) and his stats have been both exceptional and consistent. He didn't let himself down in his few outings for England, indicating a sound temperament and who knows, instead of fighting for Bres's Test place, he may just be the perfect answer for England's balance, batting at 7 and allowing Prior to bat at 6 where we all believe he's capable of performing. As for his lack of pace, as others have pointed out, Jimmy is no longer a 90mph bowler (and has become better for it!) nor were two of the greatest modern 'quick' bowlers, Pollock and McGrath, both of whom operated at the low 80s. Tough call on whether or not to give Jimmy further time to rest but I'd really like to see Woakes given a good chance - he might just be a diamond!

  • jb633 on July 4, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    God, this summer really is a joke. If people think it is bad think about school, uni, club cricket. We have played 5 out of 12 games all year. There is no wonder that cricket is struggling to compete with the other sports at present. Why would anyone pay for a ticket in advance any more. It is simply too risky.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    @JG2704 - I knew Yorks dropped a Div recently, & I figured Bresnan would not of played many games for them of late - but whilst Bresnan is easily the more experienced, Woakes has played enuff games to suggest he is a better talent. The fact that Bresnan seems to have lifted at International level SHOULD mean he is a prefferred option, but Woakes must be close to higher honours (IMO). @Truemans_Ghost - cannot argue with a single thing you've said - I was in no way trying to dismiss the achievements Bresnan has made & I do have a feeling his bowling may not "slide" too much. I do think you touched on a good point re: "...playing for England.." When Oz were the undisputed Champs of the cricket universe - I felt that (particularly bowlers), benefitted by playing for Oz, better slipsmen - fielding in general, scoreboard pressure all added up to a better environment to bowl in. Assuming Woakes & Bresnan have 1) similar domestic environments & 2) similar intestinal fortitude - I back Woakes!

  • SDHM on July 4, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Meety - I know what you mean about Bresnan, but the ability to rise to the occasion and over-perform at international level is hardly something to be sniffed at! I'm one of the people who constantly seems to underestimate him to be fair, but I still don't really think he is part of England's best attack, certainly at home - his value, especially with the ball, will increase massively in the subcontinent and the Caribbean. For me, he just lacks something England's other Test bowlers bring to the mix - Finn's pace, Tremlett's bounce and nip, Onions' metronomic line and length. His ODI stats really aren't too hot either - his average and economy rate are high, which makes me think he's more suited to Test cricket and someone like Woakes can have a run in the 50 over side. I am perfectly happy for me to keep under-estimating him and for him to keep making me eat my words though!

  • yorkshirematt on July 4, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    @randyoz Batsman? You do post some rubbish at times! If a batsman took a six fer against your lot last year then Australian cricket must be in an even worse state than we thought. As for Bairstow, he's a yorkie and , unlike aussies, we're known for our fighting sprit so he'll come good

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 04 2012, 08:24 AM GMT) - Yeah bad one re Tom. Not sure if we have any other pacers on reserve so maybe that ties our hands

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    @Meety on (July 04 2012, 04:19 AM GMT) Re Woakes/Bres - difficult to read too much into them playing for different counties. I think Yorks only went down last season and not sure if Bres would have played many/if any games for Yorks this season. However Woakes is having a really decent time at the championship frontrunners

  • Selassie-I on July 4, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    MR OZ, he's got a superior1st class record to that new chap you've got at 3; Forrest, he bowls as well and would come in at 7/8 for us...... oh and he's 3 years younger.

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Hope his bowling is effective- he obviously can bat, let's just see how he goes.

  • zenboomerang on July 4, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    @Truemans_Ghost... Agree, stats don't tell a complete picture & some players really turn around their careers when given the opportunity - a number of cricketers have better Test or ODI stats than their FC or List A stats... The ability to lift is something we want in all our players...

  • zenboomerang on July 4, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Seems like a good time to bring in Woakes & give him some more ODI experience... A level headed cricketer that moves on when a game goes pear-shaped & bounces back - a good atitude to have... With such a busy summer schedule I would like to see Anderson & Bresnan rested a bit more, considering the Saffa tour is yet to come, you never know when a bowler or 2 can get injured... Anyway, good luck if he plays...

  • satish619chandar on July 4, 2012, 8:28 GMT

    Finny had to wait an eternity to get a place and he is now doing the best as he got chance.. Woakes too has been waiting for some time now.. I felt the chances Dernbach got were of Woakes.. Woakes would be my first choice in case the main guys in Broad, Finn, Anderson or Bresnan gets injured/rested..

  • ThirteenthMan on July 4, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    "I was distraught. But none of the guys said much about it. They just said 'bad luck' and we got on with it. Two days later, we played a championship game at Uxbridge and I took seven wickets in the game including five in the second innings."

    There is an important lesson for any team in that.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    @JG2704 (Post on July 03 2012, 16:59 PM GMT): I think Meaker is unavailable because of the funeral (Tom Maynard, RIP). But yeah if we win tonight and England become unassailable, there's the choice of either going for the jugular and attempting 5-0, or using the remaining two games to play around with the team!

  • YorkshirePudding on July 4, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    @Meety, to be fair to Bresnan its only this season that hes been in the 2nd division, for the last 2 or 3 seasons yorks were in the 1st division and this is where he played most of his county cricket.

  • Truemans_Ghost on July 4, 2012, 7:07 GMT

    @Meety, I occassionally worry that Bresnan has , as you say, overperformed and that it can't last. I'm pretty sure his batting average over a long period will slide, but hopefully will settle in the low 30's- quite good enough for a your bowler.But I think the reson for the difference between his domestic an international performances has more to do with the fact tht once he got the chance to play for England he did everything he could to improve himself as a cricketer. He lost weight, worked hard at his batting - I admire that in a player. He hasn't played for Yorkshire that much since. So i'm not sure he has overperformed- he's worked hard to deserve to do as well as he has.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on July 4, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    I like what I have seen of him, something a bit different with he bowling, I agree with an earlier post something of the Cork about him but quicker, and a more than useful batsman. I can't help thinking Dernbach and his slower balls seem to have his effectiveness and Woakes is a welcome replacement, and he is from the Midlands which is always good.

  • mikey76 on July 4, 2012, 5:41 GMT

    Randy he's an all rounder and he already bagged a six for against your boys. And its hardly fair to make a judgement on bairstow after a couple of tests. Certainly better than anything we've seen coming out of Australia these last few months.

  • anver777 on July 4, 2012, 4:38 GMT

    Talented Woakes is a bright prospect for Eng cricket !!!! wishing him good luck !!!

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    @igorolman - mate that's awful! @Peter Bryant - the thing to consider about Bresnan's great start to his International career (particularly tests), is that his numbers are significantly better than his FC/List A stats. What does that mean? Nothing for sure, but to me it suggests that he might be overperforming at international level. Woakes on the other hand - has domestic numbers significantly better than Bresnan. Should Woakes duplicate those figures at Test level, he'd leave Flintoff in the shade & give Botham a run for his money. The only problem with using FC stats form England is (IMO), the quality of opposition can vary from week to week, but since Woakes in Div 1, & Bresnan is Div 2, I would say that Woakes is the more likely to succeed over time than Bresnan.

  • simon_w on July 4, 2012, 2:22 GMT

    Woakes is the one I've been wanting to see at this level for a while. His performances against Australia at the beginning of last year were really impressive, and his returns in the domestic game have been phenomenal. England have a host of exciting young players on the fringes in all departments, including the likes of Bairstow, Buttler, Taylor, Meaker, Briggs, Kerrigan and so on, but it's the young all-rounders, Woakes and Stokes, that have me most excited. Agree with George Dobell that Woakes' composure and temperament might be the thing that really makes him world-class in the end.

  • Hammond on July 4, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    @RandyOz- I suppose that is the best you can do given that he wasn't born in South Africa. If he does well this will guarantee that no credit will be given by you is that right?

  • cabinet96 on July 4, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    @RandyOz, if Woakes gets as good a batting FC record as Bairstow's, he may just become one of the greatest all-rounders that's ever lived, with a FC record comparable to that of Keith Miller. Do some research before you compare a bowler to a wicketkeeper. Fooled by a picture where we?

  • igorolman on July 4, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    Randy, are you a wet Egyptian? 'Cos you are in de Nile.

  • andysarmy on July 4, 2012, 0:23 GMT

    Ah Mr Oz, we've been expecting you.

  • Meety on July 3, 2012, 23:33 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - "..willing against Anderson recovering in time.." - out of context, that's harsh, but I do know what you mean. IMO, England should not play Anderson in ODIs, he is far more valuable in Tests. Imagine if Anderson's injury was so bad he missed some of the tests v Saffas, just because he got injured in an ODI????? @landl47 - I am loathe to bag Bresnan, as I like the guy, but comparing Woakes to Bresnan, I feel that Bresnan's International performances are significantly better than his domestic performances which suggests to me (rightly or wrongly) he has overperformaned at International level so far. Woakes on the other hand, I would expect to do well, because as you say his domestic stats are excellent & even if he doesn't match those numbers, he should end up being very useful at International level. I think Woakes is a better long term bet than Bresnan, (unless Bresnan is one of those rare athletes that performs better in tougher environments).

  • RandyOZ on July 3, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    Another batsman likely to go the way of Bairstow, and that is nowhere fast.

  • Munkeymomo on July 3, 2012, 21:32 GMT

    @Peter Bryant: Whilst I have no problems with Tim Bresnan myself I think he has proven himself as a fine cricketer) Freddie was a far better bowler. He could strike fear into atsmen the way Bresnan just cannot. Stats aren't everything, though Bresnans are good.

  • 5wombats on July 3, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    Yes - we remember Woakes V Aus! That T20 @Adelaide had us whooping. Woakes should have won us the T20 at the MCG too - Aus got lucky there. At Brisbane the England batsmen's spines went walkies and we lost than game pathetically - Woakes' 6/45 should have done the job. So, this lad Woakes knows what to do when he sees an Australian. He is fearless. The interview reads well - he is ambitious. Good on the England selectors for bringing him in.

  • landl47 on July 3, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    Woakes only recently (March) turned 23 so historically he's still young to be pressing for a place in the England side. What I like about him is that he's consistent; as the article states, last year an average of 48 with the bat and 21 with the ball are international class numbers and this year he's been even better. He seems to be able to do it in all formats, too- his T20 bowling figures are great over the last few weeks. There are players who are great at county level but not quite sharp enough with either bat or ball to cut it at test level, but the only way to find out is to give him a chance. Frankly, his numbers in all departments are far superior to Dernbach's and I have a real problem understanding what the England management see in Jade. I do hope England won't risk Anderson- groin pulls take forever to heal and even though he didn't seem to be struggling too much I'd hate to see him out of the SA series for the sake of one of these pointless ODIs.

  • subbass on July 3, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Woakes is indeed a very exciting prospect. I can see him playing 300+ ODI's for England and 100 Test matches. Hope he gets a game on Wed !

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 20:30 GMT

    @Peter Bryant on (July 03 2012, 17:26 PM GMT) I said that I thought Woakes should replace Bres in this match. I feel that Bres has been off the radar and Woakes would be nearer to Bres than Jade as a replacement and a break would do Bres little harm. Also re averages (esp with the bat) we must also remember that he was part of the Eng side which had an easy time vs India but not part of the side which struggled on the winter tours so his stats were probably inflated by the Indian tour but were not levelled out in the UAE tour. In tests I think they should play both Finn and Bres and move up Prior to 6 and in SC conditions should prob play any 3 seamers along with Swann and Monty.

  • phermon on July 3, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    It is great for England to have such depth at the moment. The trouble with depth is that some very talented young people miss out. You would have to be an outstanding talent in outstanding form to oust Tim Bresnan from his spot.

  • nlight on July 3, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Give the lad a chance, please. He did impress down under and this is an ideal opportunity.

  • hhillbumper on July 3, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    A much better player then dernbach.Good all rounder and still young enough to have a huge future. Lets hope we dont have another saffer in the team.

  • SDHM on July 3, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    @maximum6 - completely disagree with you about his pace. He certainly isn't quick, but the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Vernon Philander have done all right recently whilst barely scraping 80mph at times, so pace definitely isn't everything. The problem with Woakes for me is that once the ball stops swinging he might struggle to take wickets, but I'm sure Flower and Giles have been working on that with him. His batting is more than just an added bonus too - he's a proper all-rounder. He might just be the key to that fifth bowler/sixth batsman position England are struggling with in Test cricket in the next few years.

  • on July 3, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    I am getting increasingly,sick of people questioning Tim Bresnans test place.It seems that a test batting and bowling average of 40 and 26 respectively,isnt good enough.Earlier in the summer it was Finn who should take Tims test place,but Finn hardly set the world alight in the 3rd test against the West Indies.Now its Woakes who can displace Bresnan,well has Broad got a better test record with bat and ball,no,and did Flintoff no.Of course,we all know that being from Yorkshire counts against Bresnan,not box office enough,just a down to earth bloke.Of course Flintoff opened his mouth a lot and gave good one liners,and so was every ones darling.The fact is Flintoff scored 5 centuries and took 3 5 wicket hauls,hardly the stuff of legends.My suggestion to Tim is if he has to play in the north,play for Lancashire,or better still move to Surrey,then i'm sure,no one would have a problem with him being in the test side.

  • threeslipsandagully on July 3, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    I don't see why he should up his pace, speed isn't an indicator of quality; just look at the likes of Tim Bresnan, Vernon Philander and Praveen Kumar, none of whom are particularly quick. In fact, I seem to remember Kumar giving English batsmen some trouble bowling military medium. Woakes' record in limited overs cricket isn't particularly remarkable, but he's got the potential to become what England so sorely need in the one day game; a genuine all-rounder.

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    @Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 03 2012, 15:55 PM GMT) Personally I wouldn't mind seeing Woakes in for Bres. To me Bres has looked a bit wayward lately and I might give him a game or 2 off to recharge himself and hopefully add to his intensity levels for the SA series. Maybe bring in Meaker for Jade or even call up CT to the fold although it may be a bit early

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    From the forecast it looks like they may be claiming on that insurance too. As strange as it may seem, there may be quite a lot of England supporters willing against Anderson recovering in time. Woakes is someone who I would like to see play and I know that a lot of others feel the same. If he does play and the weather holds he'll be looking to channel Alex Hales, making a match-winning contribution on his return to the team in front of his home crowd. I'm sure he won't be hoping to get out for 99 but there are worse things that could happen. I'm sure that Shane Watson would be happy to see England strengthening their middle order too.

  • whatawicket on July 3, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    hes of an age when he should be just starting to push his way into the odi squad on a regular basis. that been said he has had niggling injuries. perhaps as cummins has been pushed in far to quickly but then their pace bowling stocks demanded that cummings had to do that. added to the fact that he is a very correct batter but can also hit the ball a long way. hes in the low 80s so he no slouch but nice if like steve finn can get it up to the 90s. to me he looks a good cricketer iv only seen him live in his 1st season before he was talked about as an england cricketer. but a brummy friend of mine says he has a very level head and and is willing to listen and learn and we know mr flowers like cricketers like that, he has all the attributes

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 3, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I am sure this guy has a lot of talent but he also has a lot of injury problems and really needs to sort out all that to convince me as an international player. He also needs to get his bowling up a few mph urgently.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 3, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Dare I say it... his stats are quite similar to Bresnan's at the moment! Be interesting to see how he fits into this current England unit.

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  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 3, 2012, 15:55 GMT

    Dare I say it... his stats are quite similar to Bresnan's at the moment! Be interesting to see how he fits into this current England unit.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 3, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I am sure this guy has a lot of talent but he also has a lot of injury problems and really needs to sort out all that to convince me as an international player. He also needs to get his bowling up a few mph urgently.

  • whatawicket on July 3, 2012, 16:49 GMT

    hes of an age when he should be just starting to push his way into the odi squad on a regular basis. that been said he has had niggling injuries. perhaps as cummins has been pushed in far to quickly but then their pace bowling stocks demanded that cummings had to do that. added to the fact that he is a very correct batter but can also hit the ball a long way. hes in the low 80s so he no slouch but nice if like steve finn can get it up to the 90s. to me he looks a good cricketer iv only seen him live in his 1st season before he was talked about as an england cricketer. but a brummy friend of mine says he has a very level head and and is willing to listen and learn and we know mr flowers like cricketers like that, he has all the attributes

  • jmcilhinney on July 3, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    From the forecast it looks like they may be claiming on that insurance too. As strange as it may seem, there may be quite a lot of England supporters willing against Anderson recovering in time. Woakes is someone who I would like to see play and I know that a lot of others feel the same. If he does play and the weather holds he'll be looking to channel Alex Hales, making a match-winning contribution on his return to the team in front of his home crowd. I'm sure he won't be hoping to get out for 99 but there are worse things that could happen. I'm sure that Shane Watson would be happy to see England strengthening their middle order too.

  • JG2704 on July 3, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    @Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (July 03 2012, 15:55 PM GMT) Personally I wouldn't mind seeing Woakes in for Bres. To me Bres has looked a bit wayward lately and I might give him a game or 2 off to recharge himself and hopefully add to his intensity levels for the SA series. Maybe bring in Meaker for Jade or even call up CT to the fold although it may be a bit early

  • threeslipsandagully on July 3, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    I don't see why he should up his pace, speed isn't an indicator of quality; just look at the likes of Tim Bresnan, Vernon Philander and Praveen Kumar, none of whom are particularly quick. In fact, I seem to remember Kumar giving English batsmen some trouble bowling military medium. Woakes' record in limited overs cricket isn't particularly remarkable, but he's got the potential to become what England so sorely need in the one day game; a genuine all-rounder.

  • on July 3, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    I am getting increasingly,sick of people questioning Tim Bresnans test place.It seems that a test batting and bowling average of 40 and 26 respectively,isnt good enough.Earlier in the summer it was Finn who should take Tims test place,but Finn hardly set the world alight in the 3rd test against the West Indies.Now its Woakes who can displace Bresnan,well has Broad got a better test record with bat and ball,no,and did Flintoff no.Of course,we all know that being from Yorkshire counts against Bresnan,not box office enough,just a down to earth bloke.Of course Flintoff opened his mouth a lot and gave good one liners,and so was every ones darling.The fact is Flintoff scored 5 centuries and took 3 5 wicket hauls,hardly the stuff of legends.My suggestion to Tim is if he has to play in the north,play for Lancashire,or better still move to Surrey,then i'm sure,no one would have a problem with him being in the test side.

  • SDHM on July 3, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    @maximum6 - completely disagree with you about his pace. He certainly isn't quick, but the likes of Jimmy Anderson and Vernon Philander have done all right recently whilst barely scraping 80mph at times, so pace definitely isn't everything. The problem with Woakes for me is that once the ball stops swinging he might struggle to take wickets, but I'm sure Flower and Giles have been working on that with him. His batting is more than just an added bonus too - he's a proper all-rounder. He might just be the key to that fifth bowler/sixth batsman position England are struggling with in Test cricket in the next few years.

  • hhillbumper on July 3, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    A much better player then dernbach.Good all rounder and still young enough to have a huge future. Lets hope we dont have another saffer in the team.

  • nlight on July 3, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Give the lad a chance, please. He did impress down under and this is an ideal opportunity.