England’s ‘wizard’ Woakes nonetheless studying new methods

Chris Woakes made an inauspicious begin to this World Cup. After leaking 45 runs in six wicketless overs in opposition to New Zealand in Ahmedabad, he had figures of 0 for 34 after 4 in opposition to Bangladesh in Dharamsala, conceding six early boundaries as Reece Topley received on a roll on the different finish.

No marvel Woakes seemed relieved when he lastly received on the board for the match, having Mehidy Hasan Miraz caught behind whereas driving a ball that did simply sufficient off the seam to take the skin edge. He returned to have Litton Das caught behind in his second spell, and completed with figures of two for 49 off eight overs in England’s 137-run victory.

But Woakes is used to beginning slowly. In 2019, he took 4 wickets at 54.75 in England’s first 5 World Cup video games, whereas conceding 6.25 runs per over; of their ultimate six matches, he took 12 wickets at 18.91, together with his economic system price falling to 4.54 runs per over. Across the semi-final and the ultimate, he returned mixed figures of 6 for 57.

It just isn’t a acutely aware technique. “You want to hit the ground running,” he stated on Thursday, a relaxation day for England after they flew to Delhi forward of Sunday’s fixture in opposition to Afghanistan. “But they are long competitions, and you don’t want to peak too soon… I have built into tournaments in the past and into series, which I suppose holds me in good stead.”

Woakes assessed his personal kind as follows: “Ideally, I’d like to have gone a bit better… I wouldn’t have said that I’ve probably bowled as well as I know I can.” By his personal admission, he received issues unsuitable in opposition to New Zealand, when he erred too full and was picked off by Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra, notably within the preliminary powerplay.

“The conditions did change, and we probably didn’t quite adapt as well as we’d have liked,” he stated. “I probably haven’t executed as well as I can, but I picked up two really important wickets in the last game. In a game like that, wickets are really important, so I was pleased to have picked up those two and it gives me confidence moving forwards.”

His second spell on Tuesday was notably encouraging – and, particularly, the wicket of Das, whose 76 off 66 was the excellent innings of Bangladesh’s try to chase 365. Woakes is called “The Wizard” by his England team-mates, and the ball that accounted for Das was the end result of a number of months’ work on a brand new trick.

Since turning his consideration to white-ball cricket after the Ashes, Woakes has been engaged on his cutters – particularly, an offcutter which he’s attempting to bowl with the seam upright. “In these conditions, if I can bowl it with the seam up and it grabs the seam, it either holds or skids a little bit better,” he defined. “The delivery itself is the same, it’s just the way it comes out from a seam point of view.”

Working with Warwickshire’s bowling coach, Stuart Barnes, Woakes has additionally been perfecting a legcutter, which he bowled extensively via his second spell in opposition to Bangladesh. “I obviously had this [the World Cup] in mind. Coming here to Asia, I think it could be a wicket-taking delivery, taking the ball away from a right-hander… you’re always trying to adapt your game and trying to develop it, regardless of your age.”

England’s subsequent task is Sunday’s day-night match in opposition to Afghanistan on the Arun Jaitley Stadium, a venue which has hosted two uncharacteristically fast-scoring video games to date. Despite spending an IPL season with Delhi Capitals, Woakes by no means performed for them on the venue – although did play there as soon as in 2017 for Kolkata Knight Riders, and in a tour match for England a decade in the past.

“It’s quite an iconic Indian cricket ground, isn’t it?” Woakes stated. “It’s always exciting to play at these sorts of venues. It looks like it’s been relatively high-scoring… we’ll expect that, but we’ll have to adapt to conditions on the day and we’re coming up against an Afghanistan team who are dangerous and can really compete on their day. We won’t be taking them lightly either.”

And regardless of a gruelling journey schedule – England’s fixture listing is the second-most taxing of any workforce, behind the hosts India – Woakes is optimistic that he might characteristic in all 9 of their group video games, as he did in 2019. “I obviously would like to,” he stated. “I certainly hope so… from a physical point of view, I think it’s possible.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

Source web site: www.espncricinfo.com

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