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Chris Woakes feared for his Test future after knee injury

Last updated on 30 May 2023 | 05:18 PM
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Chris Woakes feared for his Test future after knee injury

The all-rounder returns to red-ball cricket after being picked in the squad for the one-off Test against Ireland following a long lay-off due to an injury

Chris Woakes admitted he feared he might never play Test cricket again following a long lay-off due to a knee injury. The Warwickshire pace-bowling all-rounder was sidelined from first-class cricket for over a year after knee surgery and has not played a Test since facing the West Indies in March 2022.

But the 34-year-old has been included in England's squad for their lone Test against Ireland at Lord's starting on Thursday, and a strong showing at the 'Home of Cricket' could see Woakes feature in the upcoming home Ashes series.

England are already without the services of James Anderson and Ollie Robinson due to injuries, and Woakes will most likely be a part of the playing XI for the home team. 

"Last summer was quite a tough summer for me personally, missing out on not just England cricket but all cricket," Woakes told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday.

And there was no disguising the relief Woakes, a veteran of 45 Tests, felt at getting a call from England coach Brendon McCullum telling him he was back in the red-ball squad.

"When Brendan did call me, it felt, not like the first call-up, but it always means a lot and it's great to be back amongst it," he said.

"Those sort of doubts about playing again for England do run through your mind a little bit. That's part and parcel of professional sport, whether it be form, injury or whatever it is, there's always someone knocking on the door, younger players ready to come in."

England have rejigged their style of play since McCullum and Ben Stokes have taken over the reins of red-ball cricket. The duo have incorporated an aggressive style of play which has yielded massive dividends as England have won 10 out of their last 12 Test matches. 

"Whenever you get an opportunity put the shirt on, it's an opportunity to impress, contribute to team wins, and with a huge summer ahead, you want to try and be a part of that."

"It's an opportunity and get the nod on Thursday, then I'll obviously be doing my best to contribute to the team winning and putting in a personal performance."

"You look across the board, and we've got a very, very good pool of fast bowlers. There has been a couple of niggles around, obviously, and with a big summer ahead, you would imagine we're going to need that big pool of fast bowlers at some point," he concluded. 

(With inputs from AFP)

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