Chris Woakes eager to prove himself after being handed a 'surprise' opportunity against WI

Chris Woakes eager to prove himself after being handed a ‘surprise’ opportunity against WI

Chris Woakes has voiced his excitement about being given another opportunity in an England shirt after worrying he may be left out in the wake of their Ashes debacle.

Woakes will likely share the new ball in the first Test in Antigua, starting on Tuesday, with Somerset’s Craig Overton after Ollie Robinson, who suffered a back spasm in the warm-up match last week and was unable to train on Sunday, was left out of the 12-man squad.

Speaking after training at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, where England are scheduled to start their three-Test series against the West Indies, Woakes revealed that he expected a tough start to their new goal to reset high standards in the longest format as the tourists look to embrace a new mentality.

For Woakes, his role is both slightly different and more senior. In the absence of James Anderson and Broad, Woakes will take the new ball – something he has only done for England in 13 of his 42 Test matches. He will also be the virtual leader of the bowling attack, with Overton expected to play his seventh Test in Robinson’s absence and England banking on Mark Wood’s availability due to his extra pace; the uncapped Saqib Mahmood is the other seam-bowling option in the 12 man-squad.

Woakes admits this will be a tough series for the visitors

“[Robinson has] had a great start to his Test career so naturally he’ll be a big miss,” Woakes said. “At the same time, it gives people opportunities. This tour is not just solely about opportunities, we’re trying to win games of cricket, but at the same time it does give that chance to someone to potentially make their Test debut or who’s been waiting in the wings for quite a while, and show that they can do it at this level.”

“By no means is this going to be an easy Test series for us,” he said. “We haven’t won a lot of Test matches here in the last 50 or 60 years from what I’ve heard so it’s not by any means going to be a walkover.

“We’re trying to focus on that in particular, the last week or so we’ve tried to focus on how we can get better at doing things as a unit rather than individually. Naturally it’s a game that produces individual performances but we still need to be better as a collective, we can’t just rely on certain individuals to always step up and put their hand up. We need to do it as a group and that’s something we’ve tried to focus on in the 10 days we’ve been here.”

“We worked so incredibly hard to get to this point, to become an England player and to get to this environment. You know it’s easily taken away from you. It’s making sure that every game is really important to you, you’re wearing the Three Lions and you give the best of yourself every time you step out there.”

Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.

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