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Confident Woakes wants to further Test career

Chris Woakes picked eight wickets from two Tests against Sri Lanka and scored 105 runs at an average of 52.50 from three innings including a fifty.
Chris Woakes picked eight wickets from two Tests against Sri Lanka and scored 105 runs at an average of 52.50 from three innings including a fifty.
©REUTERS / Action Images

England all-rounder Chris Woakes has expressed his desire to further his Test career after a confident display in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka.

Woakes, who was drafted in for the injured Ben Stokes, managed to take eight wickets from the two games and scored 105 runs at an average of 52.50 from three innings including a half-century.

Since making his Test debut in 2013, Woakes has only played eight matches for England including three games in 2016.

The 27-year-old admitted that he has not been able to fulfil his potential in Test cricket in his brief career but feels that he has done well in the series against Sri Lanka to warrant another chance.

"I’ve always believed I’ve been good enough to play at Test level but I’ve dipped in and out a bit, and the series against India in 2014, it felt like I bowled well without getting the rewards," said Woakes.

"My better spells have come when I’ve had a little period in the team, so I’ve always believed I’ve been good enough but you still have your doubts until you do it.

"So from the Durham Test on it was a bit of a breakthrough really. I always believed I could but it was about letting people around me know it.

"I saw something that Cookie (Alastair Cook) said, when I was going to play in Durham, he said ‘we don’t feel like we’ve seen the best of Chris Woakes yet’, which is understandable and a fair call.

"I feel I gave a glimpse over the last two Test matches of what I can give.

"With confidence going forward, I might be a shout for the Pakistan series, or with Test series coming up in the future, knowing that they can call on me and have seen what I can do."

England’s preferred all-rounder in the recent seasons has been Stokes, who smashed a double century against South Africa earlier this year and more or less cemented his place for the upcoming seasons.

However, Stokes suffered a knee injury during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Leeds, handing an opportunity to Woakes to impress the selectors.

Admitting that a fully fit Stokes will walk right back into the playing XI, Woakes wants to give the England selectors a headache by putting up good performances in the upcoming limited overs series against Sri Lanka.

"I’d like to think I have given the selectors a headache," said Woakes, speaking at a Sri Lankan inspired cooking event hosted by Royal London.

"But at the same time we know Ben (Stokes), if 100 per cent fit, he’ll come straight back into the team.

"We’ve seen what he’s done over the past 12 months, he’s a brilliant cricketer, he gives the team great balance.

"I’d be stupid to think that, if Ben’s fit, I’m going to play, but I might have given them a headache that I might be able to fit into the team even if he’s just come back in and is involved again."

"Who knows what will happen? There’s quite a bit of cricket to be played before then and my performances in the one-day series will count.

"I know it’s completely different formats but if you’re completely out of nick with the ball you won’t get picked."

The Warwickshire all-rounder also revealed that he has worked hard over the last three years to add that extra yard of pace to his arsenal without losing out on his ability to swing the ball.

"It was a big process to add extra pace, it’s been something I’ve been working on for three years or so.

"It didn’t come overnight and there were a few technical issues, and when I first started doing that I felt like I’d lost some of my ability to move the ball as well.

"But I feel like I’m in a space now where I hit the pitch hard at good pace but still have my skills.”

Woakes will be in action in the upcoming five-match One-Day International series against Sri Lanka which will be played between 21st June and 2nd July.

© Cricket World 2016