December 12, 2019, 16:10

The Ashes: Chris Woakes is England’s Lord of Lord’s

The Ashes: Chris Woakes is England’s Lord of Lord’s

England need an influential performance to kick-start their Ashes campaign and in Chris Woakes they have a player who boasts an enviable Test record at Lord’s.

The Home of Cricket has become a home away from home for the all-rounder, who will continue to shoulder significant responsibility, alongside Stuart Broad, in the absence of James Anderson in the second Test.

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Edgbaston, where the first-Test defeat took place, might be Woakes’ home ground but Lord’s is where the Warwickshire cricketer has also enjoyed notable success – with both ball and bat.

The 30-year-old averages 68.50 with the bat and 9.75 with the ball at Lord’s. Many a cricketer could only dream for such a record at a legendary venue.

England can ill afford to fall 2-0 down in the Ashes as they look to fight back from their Edgbaston defeat and Woakes will likely play a pivotal part in the destiny of the result.

How Woakes has fared with the ball

Woakes was not certain of a starting role in England’s bowling line-up ahead of the start of the Ashes, even after a strong World Cup, such was the competition for places in the attack.

Even with the pre-series injury concerns over Anderson and Jofra Archer, he needed a notable performance in the one-off Test against Ireland to underline his significance to the side.

Woakes endured a frustrating wicketless first innings against Ireland but with the tourists chasing 182 to secure a historic victory, Woakes, and Broad, ripped through the opposition batting line-up with persistent swing and seam bowling.

But his performance with the ball, six for 17, as Ireland finished 38 all out in the second innings of the one-off Test saw him steal a march for selection and ridicule the belief England could do without him for the start of the Ashes.

A year earlier and Woakes picked up two wickets in each of the two innings in the second Test of a five-match series against India last summer.

But it was his performance with the bat that stood out. More on that to follow.

Woakes’ second Test outing at the Home of Cricket came during the first Test of the drawn series against Pakistan in 2016.

On that occasion, Woakes was on the losing side despite claiming 11 wickets in the match as he joined greats of English bowling, including Ian Botham and Fred Trueman, to record a 10-wicket match haul.

Woakes’ Lord’s bow in Tests began earlier that summer as he managed three wickets in the first innings of the drawn third Test against Sri Lanka in June 2016.

Chris Woakes: Test record at Lord’s Matches Runs High score Batting average 100’s Wickets Best bowling figures Bowling average Five-wicket haul 4 274 137* 68.50 1 24 6/17 9.75 3 And with the bat?

Woakes has become a dependable lower-order batsman but his scores in the recent Test against Ireland are best forgotten about.

He was dismissed for a second-ball duck in the first innings and only managed 13 second time around.

But almost a year to the day and Woakes was celebrating a memorable maiden Test century against the world-best Test side India.

Woakes recorded an unbeaten score of 137, which included 21 fours, as a record sixth-wicket partnership of 189 against the tourists alongside Jonny Bairstow turned the match in their favour.

He became one of only five players to appear on all three honours boards at Lord’s following his century last summer, joining fellow Englishmen Broad, Ian Botham and Gubby Allen as well as South Africa’s Keith Miller.

An unbeaten 35 helped England narrow the first-innings deficit of the loss against Pakistan three years ago, while he managed 23 in the second innings as the hosts fell short in their pursuit of 283 for victory.


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