The Cricketer
Owen Riley Owen Riley


Warwickshire allrounder relishing chance to "prove his worth"

Chris Woakes says he is ready to take on a leading role with both bat and ball in the absence of Ben Stokes.

“Obviously losing Ben as an allrounder means that myself, potentially Moeen, and even Jonny as an allrounder, it is more of a chance for us to prove our worth" said Woakes.

“If I am to bat a little bit higher up the order, I look forward to that opportunity and to hopefully score runs for the team, and not just be one of those guys down the order that contributes a few runs, hopefully get in and score some big runs.

“I try and take my batting as seriously as possible. I know I’ve been batting at No.9 in recent Test matches but whenever I have played for Warwickshire I have batted higher. I’ve always tried to prepare as a batsman. That is something I have worked on with Graham Gooch and more recently Mark Ramprakash, having that mindset as a batsman rather than just a guy that can contribute down the order.”

After a summer disrupted by injury, Woakes says he is fighting fit heading into the Ashes series.

“Side is fine, as good as it as felt since the injury, it’s been a frustrating summer for me, obviously picking up the injury at that time [Champions Trophy opener], with a lot of high-profile cricket ahead.

“I have recharged the batteries, strengthened a few areas of that body that needing strengthening and I’m good to go.”

While many column inches are dominated by the raw pace of Australia’s seamers, the Warwickshire allrounder believes England’s experience and guile is more than a match for the Baggy Greens.

“I believe we’ve got the skills to take wickets and cause trouble with the reversing ball.

“Australia always have pace. I know there has been some talk about bouncers, but it is Test cricket in Australia, if bouncers weren’t bowled it would be a strange Test series, that’s what you expect.

“Pat Cummins obviously hasn’t played a huge amount of Test cricket in Australia- or any at all - in Australia. So that will be a test for him just as much as it will be for myself who hasn’t played a Test match in Australia. 

“They have got probably a little more pace than us, but in experience with Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, two of England's best ever bowlers, along with myself and the other bowlers in the squad, I think we've got enough to cause them problems.”