Test Match Sofa
Parsons tips Woakes for Test selection
By Paul Bolton, County News Correspondent
Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes has been tipped to make the step up to Test level by the England and Wales Cricket Board’s performance director David Parsons.
Woakes has already played Twenty20 and one-day international cricket for England and made a favourable impression with bat and ball in the two unofficial Tests between England Lions and Australia A.
He has also has made strides as a batsman this season and followed up two County Championship centuries with 92 in the drawn first ‘Test’ at Old Trafford and an unbeaten 48 in a rain-ruined contest at Edgbaston.
But Woakes impressed mainly with his bowling for the Lions along with Glamorgan seamer James Harris and Surrey paceman Stuart Meaker.
“Of the bowling group James Harris, Chris Woakes and Stuart Meaker have been quite close for a while,” Parsons said. “They are all young fellas and their development path seems to be moving in the right direction. I don’t know how easy it will be to displace one of those five bowlers in the England side at the moment but I guess it’s nice to know that there’s a group sitting just underneath that.
“If this England side stays together for another year or two, or however long it happens to be, then it might be the right time at the age 25 or 26 for those blokes to make the step up. So there’s lots of promise and lots of potential but you will never quite know until they make the step up.”
Warwickshire, meanwhile, will be boosted by the inclusion of England Lions pair Woakes and Varun Chopra, plus former England slow left-armer Ian Blackwell, for their crunch Clydesdale Bank 40 match against the Unicorns at Wormsley on Sunday.
Woakes returns to county duty after two weeks with the Lions against Australia A in which he impressed with bat and ball.
Chopra made his Lions debut in the rain-ruined second unofficial Test at Edgbaston having been called up to replace the injured Nick Compton.
Blackwell will make his Warwickshire debut at Wormsley having arrived at Edgbaston loan from Durham for the rest of the season as cover for off-spinner Jeetan Patel, who has been recalled by New Zealand for their tour of India.
Blackwell has not played County Championship cricket for Durham since May but his last one-day appearance came in the CB40 at Taunton last September.
The Unicorns match has increased in importance for Warwickshire following two defeats in three days earlier this week by Kent and Sussex which have thrown Group C wide open.
Warwickshire beat the Unicorns at Edgbaston last month but what looked like being a walk in the park – albeit a very spectacular one at the private ground created by the late John Paul Getty – has now become a must-win match for Warwickshire if they are to have a chance of progressing to the semi-finals on September 1.
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