Pacer Chris Woakes conceded that England took a fair call by leaving him out of the Test series against India given his record in the sub continent. The 34-year-old was not included in England’s 16-member squad for the five-match Test series, starting January 25 in Hyderabad and Woakes said he was at ease with the decision. “It’s mixed emotions,” Woakes was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNCricinfo’. “Whenever there’s a Test squad announcement, you’re always desperate to be in it. But at the same time, at my age, with my away record – particularly in the subcontinent – I feel like it’s a fair decision,” he added.
Woakes has done well in home conditions, boasting of a bowling average of 21.88 but it balloons to 51.88 overseas. In the three Tests in India in 2016, Woakes managed only three wickets at a cost of 81.3.
“We had conversations about where my best cricket is likely to be played moving forward and naturally in Test cricket, it looks likely to be at home.
“It doesn’t mean to say that when there’s not subcontinent tours that I won’t be available. But I feel at ease with the decision, if that makes sense. The communication was good, I know where I stand so it’s fine by me.” The last time Woakes played an away Test series, it didn’t go so well. In the absence of veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad, Woakes had been promoted to the role of an opener. But he could manage only five scalps in three Tests at an average of 48.80.
“I tried to bowl my heart out and really struggled with my body. My knee was sore at the time, I ended up having surgery after that and I missed six months of cricket.” Woakes feels missing the tour of India could help extend his career.
“I wouldn’t want that to be the same case going to India, bowling on tracks which are unresponsive to my type of bowling; slamming the front knee down at 34 is not really ideal when I want to play a lot of white-ball cricket moving forward.
“It’s different when that’s just your sole focus but when you want to play all forms, it makes it a wise decision.”
Vaughan suprised by Woakes omission
Former England skipper Michal Vaughan believes the all-rounder deserved to be part of the squad.
“It tells you England think he can’t bowl in India, it’s as simple as that. I’m staggered by it really,” Vaughan told foxsports.com.au.
“That you’ve got a player that came into the Ashes with Mark Wood and they were 2-0 down against Australia in three Test matches. To think a few months later (he’s left out), his all-round ability, he bats well, fields well and I guess they just feel he has been in those conditions before in the past and he’s not going to have an impact.
Woakes had played a vital role as England fought back from 0-2 to draw the Ashes 2-2 earlier this year. The pacer was adjudged the player of the series during the Ashes earlier this year.
“They are clearly thinking it’s going to be a five-match series where spin is going to play a prominent part.
“I think England are thinking they are probably only going to play two seam bowlers and with that Woakes is not the kind of seamer they are going to require in Indian conditions.
“But it still does surprise me you’ve got a player who was man of the series in the Ashes against the best team in the world that are Australia and a few months down the line he doesn’t even warrant a place in the squad.
“Even if it’s just two Test matches, holding an end and bowling dots, maybe getting some reverse swing and then offering a little with the bat. It does surprise me.”
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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