After staying away from Test cricket for almost a year, Chris Woakes has revealed that he was desperate to play the longest format of the game. Following his wonderful performance in the first innings against India, where he claimed four wickets, Woakes has said that the wait was worth it.
Having last played a Test in 2020, against Pakistan, Woakes made a return to Test cricket for the fourth Test against India at The Oval. The English all-rounder had to sit out for more than a year owing to a heel injury. He explained the emotions he had to go through while staying away from the game saying he was desperate to play cricket.
“I was desperate to play cricket. Making a comeback after a heel injury was tough for me and it was quite tricky. While I was watching the matches from home, I always wanted to be part of them,” revealed Woakes, reported PTI.
A combination of bad luck and some management decisions kept the all-rounder away from red ball cricket. First, he missed the series against Sri Lanka after he was found to be in close contact with Moeen Ali, who had tested positive for Covid. He was then given rest against India because of the rotation policy before a broken heel made him miss home games. Reflecting on his absence from Test cricket, he said that it was a very weird year for him.
“ It has been a very strange year for me. First, I missed games due to isolation and then my broken heel kept me out of the game. The wait was worth it and I really enjoyed it,” explained Woakes
Chris Woakes replaced Sam Curran in the fourth match of the Test series between India and England. Winning the toss, England chose the bowl first and Chris Woakes performed impressively on his return dismissing four Indian batsmen helping the hosts restrict India to just 191 runs. The 32-year-old cricketer was happy with the way his team bowled and said that he just stuck to his basics while bowling.
“It was a great thing to be back in whites. Winning the toss and bowling out the Indian team for 191 was a very pleasing thing. I have not played a huge amount of red-ball cricket. I was focusing on my basics, the thing I could do best. I was trying to take the ball away from the right-hander. I was looking for some movement and pitch played a vital role by providing some assistance,” he said.
The game was slipping away from India when they were restricted for a low total. The Indian bowlers made a comeback by picking three wickets for a total of 53 runs including the big wicket of Joe Root. Woakes was not happy with the three dismissals but was hopeful that the team would perform well on Day 2.
“Of course, we wouldn’t have liked the dismissal of three batsmen in the last session. I am hopeful that will bat better tomorrow and take the lead. Tomorrow will be a big day for us,” the Englishman explained.