Chris Woakes says omission from England Test tour of India ‘a fair decision’

By Sports Desk December 11, 2023

Chris Woakes is “at ease” with being left out of England’s Test tour of India in the new year.

Woakes collected the Compton–Miller Medal for player of the series in the Ashes, inspiring England’s comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, but is surplus to requirements for the five-match series in India.

By the lofty standards he sets himself, the 34-year-old’s Test record overseas is modest as he averages 51.88 with the ball, exactly 30 runs per wicket higher than a superb resume at home.

Having been notified by England director of men’s cricket Rob Key and Test head coach Brendon McCullum ahead of time, Woakes is satisfied to focus on white-ball cricket for the next few months.

“It’s mixed emotions,” he said. “You’re always desperate to be in it, but at the same time, at my age, with my away record – particularly in the subcontinent – I feel like it’s a fair decision.

“We had conversations about where my best cricket is likely to be played moving forward and, naturally in Test cricket, it looks likely to be at home.

“It doesn’t mean to say that when there’s not subcontinent tours that I won’t be available, hopefully they’ll still potentially pick me in those.

“But I feel at ease with the decision, if that makes sense. The communication was good, I know where I stand so it’s fine by me.”

Woakes will instead go to the International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates, which starts in January, and hopes to be snapped up in the Indian Premier League auction for next year’s edition.

He was speaking in Barbados, having linked up with England ahead of their five T20s against the West Indies which act as reconnaissance for next year’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and United States.

His last visit to these parts in March 2022 was in the final throes of Joe Root’s captaincy, with a 1-0 Test loss compounded by a knee injury that needed surgery and left Woakes sidelined for several months.

“I wouldn’t want that to be the same case going to India, bowling on tracks which are unresponsive to my type of bowling,” Woakes said.

“Slamming the front knee down at 34 is not really ideal when I want to play a lot of white-ball cricket moving forward.

“It’s different when that’s just your sole focus, but when you want to play all forms, it makes it a wise decision.”

Despite being white-ball vice-captain, Moeen Ali seems set to be dropped by England in Tuesday’s opening T20, which marks the start of the International Cricket Council’s stop clock trial.

If a bowling team is not ready to start an over 60 seconds after the completion of the last one, they will be penalised five runs when it happens for a third time and on each occasion thereafter.

“We haven’t really spoken about it as of yet, but I’ve seen the idea of it and it kind of makes sense,” Woakes added. “It hopefully will speed the game up a little bit.

“When you’re out there in the middle, you don’t feel like you’re playing it slow, the game does feel fast. Guys might be taking drinks or swapping gloves and things, but the game does feel pretty quick.

“But we’re in the entertainment business and we need to make sure the viewers are happy as well. So I think it’s a good idea.”

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    West Indies won by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday as they hit the highest run total at the tournament so far this year, hitting 218, including registering the highest powerplay score in history with 92.

    Pooran alone got 98 of those runs off 53 balls, the highest individual total at this World Cup, and broke the record for the most sixes in T20Is for West Indies, with his eight in this game taking him to 128, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    Asked how he felt following his impressive performance, Pooran was quick to turn the praise to the whole team.

    "I felt today was my day and I had to take the responsibility," Pooran said. "When it's your day, you have to make it your day. I assessed the conditions early. It was really important for us to not lose wickets in the middle.

    "We have been really consistent as a team. The way we have played is wonderful.

    "It's just not today, it started 12-14 months ago. We have been consistent as a team; we went to No. 3 in the rankings. In the last game, [Sherfane] Rutherford took the opportunity and played wonderfully. He inspired us."

    Captain Rovman Powell hit 26 when he was introduced but had already witnessed history being made in the fourth over – West Indies scored 36 runs, equalling the record for the most expansive over in men’s T20Is.

    Powell was pleased with the performances on both sides but singled out the hard work Pooran has done in order to get this result.

    "I think it is on the back of hard work," Powell said. "He has had a very good 12 months. Good to see him score runs not only in franchise cricket but also for West Indies.

    "The guys were excited to come here. We knew here would be one of the better wickets of the competition. After Guyana and Trinidad, the batters wanted to come here and get runs."

    West Indies face reigning champions England next in the Super 8s on Wednesday.

  • Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan Pooran impresses in statement West Indies win over Afghanistan

    Nicholas Pooran starred as West Indies got a statement win in their final T20 World Cup group game, beating Afghanistan by 104 runs in St Lucia on Monday.

    Both sides had already qualified for the Super 8s, but West Indies ensured they finished unbeaten in Group C, breaking a few records along the way.

    Afghanistan had no answers to the co-hosts' dominant batting performance, with Johnson Charles getting 43 off 27 balls before Pooran plundered 98 off 53 balls, including six fours and eight sixes.

    He was run out in the final over while searching for his century, but Shai Hope (25) and Rovman Powell (26) had already helped push West Insides towards the highest total of the tournament so far with 218-5.

    West Indies did not let up during the Afghanistan chase, starting strongly when Akeal Hosein had Rashid Khan caught for a duck in a wicket maiden to start.

    Obed McCoy was the standout though, as he took 3-14, including Ibrahim Zadran, who was starting to build some momentum with his 38, leaving Afghanistan all out for 114 with 22 balls remaining.

    West Indies meet holders England in their first Super 8 match on Wednesday, while Afghanistan face India the following day.

    Data Debrief: West Indies finish group in record-breaking style

    West Indies' score of 218 was their highest-ever at the T20 World Cup, while they also registered the highest powerplay score with 92, beating the Netherlands' record of 91 against Ireland in 2014.

    In the fourth over alone, they scored 36 runs - equalling the record for the most expansive over in men's T20s.

    Pooran has scored the joint-most sixes in the tournament so far (13, along with USA's Aaron Jones), and has broken the record for the most sixes (128) in T20s for West Indies, going past Chris Gayle's 124.

    His total of 98 was also the highest individual total at this World Cup, carrying him past 2000 runs in T20Is.

    All in all, not a bad day for the West Indies.

  • All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan All the records broken in Windies' breathtaking performance against Afghanistan

    In a thrilling display of cricket prowess, West Indies shattered records at all angles, and left fans in awe with a phenomenal 104-run win over Afghanistan in their final Group C contest of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Darren Sammy Stadium, in St Lucia, on Monday.

    Here is a look at all the records that were broken during the breathtaking performance.

    Highest total of 2024 T20 World Cup

    West Indies total of 218-5 was the highest total by any team at this edition of the Men's T20 World Cup, surpassing the 201-6 that Sri Lanka managed against the Netherlands, at the same venue, and Australia's 201-7 against England in Barbados.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    218-5 v Afghanistan

    Sri Lanka

    201-6 v Netherlands

    Australia

    201-7 v England

    USA

    197-3 v Canada

    Canada

    194-5 v USA

    Highest individual innings of 2024 T20 World Cup

    Nicholas Pooran's outstanding innings of 98 was the highest score by any player at this T20 World Cup, eclipsing the unbeaten 94 USA's Aaron Jones put together against Canada in Dallas.

    Player

    Score

    Nicholas Pooran

    98 v Afghanistan

    Aaron Jones

    94* v Canada

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    80 v New Zealand

    Rahmanullah Gurbaz

    76 v Uganda

    Ibrahim Zadran

    70 v Uganda

    Highest Powerplay in Men's T20 World Cup history

    West Indies scored 92 runs during the Powerplay, beating the previous best of 91 by the Netherlands against Ireland at the 2014 edition of the tournament.

    Team

    Score

    West Indies

    92 v Afghanistan (2024)

    Netherlands

    91 v Ireland (2014)

    England

    89 v South Africa (2016)

    South Africa

    83 v England (2016)

    India

    82 v Scotland (2021)

    Highest total for West Indies in Men's T20 World Cups

    The score of 218-5 by the West Indies was the best they have managed at any edition of the T20 World Cup, going past the 205-6 against South Arica in Johannesburg in 2007.

    Opposition

    Score

    Afghanistan

    218-5 (2024)

    South Africa

    205-6 (2007

    Australia

    205-4 (2012)

    India

    196-3 (2016)

    Australia

    191-8 (2012)

    Equal most runs conceded in one over in Men's T20 World Cup history

    An unwanted record for Afghanistan seamer Azmatullah Omarzai, who conceded a total of 36 in one over during the Powerplay. Pooran smashed three sixes and a pair of fours during Omarzai's second over, with some wayward bowling meaning Yuvraj Singh's long-standing record for most runs in one over at a Men's T20 World Cup was equaled.

    Pooran overtook Chris Gayle for most sixes by West Indies player in Men's T20I history

    Pooran hit eight sixes against Afghanistan, taking his tally to 128 in T20I cricket and past West Indies great Chris Gayle's total of 124.

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    Sixes

    Nicholas Pooran

    128

    Chris Gayle

    124

    Evin Lewis

    111

    Kieron Pollard

    99

    Rovman Powell

    90

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