Oh look, a Chris Woakes. Forgot we had one. What shall we do with it?

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After six years away, Chris Woakes is back in England’s T20 squad. It kind of feels like they’ve just happened upon him hanging about the place and concluded that they had to put him somewhere.

We’ve been moving house for the last week or so. We were only supposed to be in the previous place short-term but all of these viral shenanigans rather extended our stay. This means that the moving process has been something of a voyage of discovery.

Several things have not turned up. For the most part we are comfortable with the fact that these items must have been secreted in a ‘safe place’ during the previous move and will now forever remain there. We’re greatly disappointed that we never found the pig’s bum from Farmyard Heads and Tails though. We invested a great deal of hope in the notion that it would ‘turn up in the move’ and so the mystery of its disappearance haunts us.

More problematically, temporary home and shipping container have unearthed a number of unexpected items which must now be stowed somewhere or other. What do you do when you find yourself grasping something you probably don’t want to throw away but with no clear idea where it should go? Well you just jam it somewhere randomly, don’t you? You postpone the decision indefinitely.

So it is that Chris Woakes may or may not become an integral part of England’s World T20 campaign on the basis that no-one’s quite sure where else he should go.

As we’ve said before, Woakes swings the ball less than Jimmy Anderson and seams it less than Stuart Broad. He isn’t as striking or dynamic an all-rounder as Ben Stokes and it’s wrong to pick him ahead of Mark Wood. So it’s hard to crowbar him into the Test team – particularly overseas. But he’s still good. You don’t want to dispatch him into non-recyclable waste. You have to put him somewhere.

Over the winter, Woakes went to South Africa, Sri Lanka and India with England and played precisely zero games. Someone somewhere is now pointing at him and saying: “Do you seriously want that? You haven’t used it in ages. Can we not just take it down to Barnardo’s when we drop off the baby bouncer thing?”

15 comments

  1. How on earth has it come to this?

    I see your point about Woakes not quite being the best in any of “pick” categories. But had he been a Kiwi, for example, his name would have been inked in for all formats and we’d have been talking about what a superb utility player he is, only worrying about him being over-played/under-rested.

    1. Because we are obsessed with pace. The only way to beat the Aussies is pace. And the only thing that matters is beating the Aussies. With pace.

      1. Even though Tim Bresnan was our secret weapon on the one occasion in living memory that we went out there & won. Pace.

      2. It’s not a strategy to rely on either. We all know the Pace will collectively do its back when getting off the plane in Oz

    2. Well said. It is because Woakes is such a nice guy that people fail to appreciate his skills. What other country would demean a new ball strike bowler who can move it like Hadlee and bat like a millionaire when needed. He should be the first name on the team sheet in all three formats, his figures demand it.

    1. New Zealand got a few lucky breaks to qualify for this final, but they really do look a very good test side right now.

      Worthy winners of this match/championship, are New Zealand, having so often been tournament bridesmaids before.

      I’m really pleased for them.

      1. I just hope they don’t somehow lose 8 wickets when scores are level…. oh no, they’ve won it, well done.

        Jamieson staking a claim for LMCoG?

      2. Crying out for a Ceci photoshop special. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor in bridesmaid’s dresses

  2. By the way, if the baby bouncer is one of those door-frame ones, sad day to be giving it away, arguably the highlight of pre-toddlerdom is the look on kids’ faces when they have a go on one of those.

  3. Absolute nonsense about Chris Woakes. He has a better Test home average than either Broad or Anderson, and all without receiving the new ball. He takes way more wickets than either Archer or Wood and he contributes hugely with the bat – witness his 84* not out against Pakistan last summer. The problem is how the media portray him. Sam Curran is always mentioned as a ‘game changer’ or someone who ‘makes things happen’. Woakes, whenever a commentator can be bothered to talk about him goes ‘under the radar’. At long last today, Michael Atherton mused that he cannot ever remember Woakes having a bad game for England and that he is a ‘professional and efficient’ cricketer. He is way more than that. The stats show him to be the best seamer in ODI cricket since 2017 (he has the best strike rate, economy and average in that time). He has now equalled the number of 4-fers with Anderson (13) albeit in about 70 fewer ODI games. He was quicker to reach 1000 Test runs and 100 Test wickets than either of Flintoff and Stokes, with only two players (for England) achieving it in less matches. I could go on; he has the best home average of ANY English bowler at home since Fred Trueman. And yet still the media under-sell his skills. Why? If he ever got the new ball in Tests his away average would decrease rapidly, as he gets almost as many away ODI wickets as at home, due to his proficiency with the new ball. I find it staggering that only people from outside of our shores see his merits. He deserves more respect.

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