After having gone an entire winter without cricket, Chris Woakes has pressed that he still sees himself as a three-format cricketer and didn’t concede his chances of making it to World T20. However, Woakes did express his disappointment over not getting an opportunity to play a Test in India.
In 2020, Chris Woakes emerged as one of England’s best players across formats, with a scintillating display against West Indies, Pakistan and later Australia. In the longest format, the all-rounder picked up 20 wickets, at an average of 21.65 in just six Tests. That combined with his limited-overs display against Australia made him one of the best players in the country.
However, since then, with his unfortunate incident with Moeen Ali, where he had to be sidelined before multiple testing for COVID confirmed that he was negative, the all-rounder hasn’t played a single game for the country. So much so, he has gone nearly six months without an appearance for the national side. That, however, hasn’t deterred the all-rounder, who expressed that he still sees himself as an all-format cricketer.
With the T20 World Cup in October, England’s series against India was the blueprint of what they would ultimately employ in the tournament. While that saw the absence of Woakes, the all-rounder stated that he doesn’t want to rule out World T20 chances, admitting that he will improve on all-front to press for a spot.
“I don’t want to rule out the T20 World Cup at all, I still see myself as a three-format cricketer. I’m looking to work on my variations, death bowling and explore some power-hitting options. Hopefully I can give Morgs and England a reminder of what I can do,” Woakes told The Guardian.
“Delhi have been loyal to me and I want to repay that. It’s my third season in the IPL overall [after spells with Kolkata and Bangalore] and I always come back a better cricketer,” he added.
Woakes was unfortunate to miss out on the Sri Lanka series, adding that it was a frustrating experience, having featured in the warm-up games earlier in that tour. The all-rounder also insisted that missing the pink-ball Test was a bit of kick in the teeth for him.
“England apologised afterwards for putting us in that situation. But it was so frustrating. After the summer I had, maybe my best since 2016, I felt like it was my shirt. Six months down the line I haven’t played a game and that’s simply the word for it: frustrating,” he added.
“In India, the balance of the team with two spinners made it tricky. But missing the pink-ball Test, that was a bit of a kick in the teeth. Four seamers and I still didn’t get a look-in. That just about summed up my winter, really. And I feel I made strides in my last few Tests overseas. It’s easy to get pigeonholed but I know I’ve improved here.”
While Woakes added that it would be a ‘dicey’ position for the English players playing in the IPL, he stated that with the ECB wanting them to broaden their horizons, playing in the IPL wouldn’t be a bad thing for them.
“England want us to broaden our horizons in the IPL and, at this stage of my career, these opportunities won’t keep coming up. If it means missing a Test, that unfortunately might be the case. The players are in an awkward position, though. This summer is big, especially with a Test series against India to follow.”