England in Australia 2010-11: Woakes pleased with match-winning debut

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In the immediate aftermath of the opening Twenty20 international Chris Woakes, the England debutant who hit an unbeaten 19 to secure a one-wicket victory, had been calm enough to suggest the chase was always “under control” at the Adelaide Oval.

After having a day to reflect on his achievement, which included pulling Shaun Tait for six, he admitted he was still trying to digest the game but didn’t seem overawed by the new attention and said he had more nerves with the ball than the bat.

“It was a matter of trying to stay calm,” he said. “I knew we batted all the way to No. 11. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was just happy to make my debut, it was a huge honour for me. It was a great achievement for myself and the team to win the game.

“I was a bit nervous before my first ball but I think it would be wrong not to have a few nerves on your debut. I thought I did okay, I could have gone a bit better, but overall I was pretty pleased.”

Woakes was even laid back about his strong blow off Tait which reignited England’s chase after the loss of Eoin Morgan and Michael Yardy in consecutive deliveries from Shane Watson. “He’s one of the quickest bowlers in the world so I was just trying to watch the ball out of his hand,” he said. “There wasn’t much going through my mind except to get bat on ball.”

Although one Twenty20 performance doesn’t make a career, it was an impressive beginning for a player who wouldn’t have been selected if Stuart Broad was fit and was a surprise selection ahead of Chris Tremlett for the opening match against Australia. But not for the first time in recent months England’s selectors made the right call.

Woakes joined the tour in the wake of England’s Ashes success and the afterglow of that victory has helped make life easier for the 21-year-old. “The lads have been really welcoming,” he said. “Winning the Ashes was a great achievement so the lads are full of confidence and it’s a great changing room to be in at the moment.”

Although unlikely, there remains a chance that Woakes could push himself into contention for a World Cup berth. The squad has to be named by January 19, three days after the opening one-day international in Melbourne. Most of England’s final 15 are secure, especially if Broad regains fitness, but one spot could be up for grabs and, even if Woakes doesn’t make the cut, he’s will be one of the first reserves.

“I don’t think too far ahead,” he said. “Before Christmas I was with the academy here in Australia so was just focussing on that. Anything else that came was just an added bonus. There are guys out injured who will come back into the side so I can’t think about that [World Cup] right now.”
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This post was submitted by Mudit Agrawal.

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