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?”