England pace-bowling all-rounder Chris Woakes is likely to return to the Test squad for the fourth Test against India – provided his return to the Blast doesn’t recur his injury. The right-hander suffered a bruised heel ahead of the first Test and had to miss out on the three Tests so far as England battled injuries to Stuart Broad and Mark Wood during the series as well.
Before Wood and Broad, Joe Root had lost the services of Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Olly Stone due to a variety of reasons.
Now, Chris Woakes, who hasn’t featured in Test eleven for a year, is deemed to have recovered from his injury. He bowled 25 overs during a 2nd XI four-day match against Worcestershire and is been named in Birmingham Bears’ squad for the Blast quarter-final against Kent at Canterbury on Friday.
According to a report in the Evening Standard, the ECB will have their eyes on Chris Woakes during the Blast fixture and should he go through the game without any major discomfort, he would be added to the squad to face India in the fourth Test at the Kennington Oval, starting September 2. The fifth and the last Test is scheduled to take place at Old Trafford from September 10.
It remains a surprise that Chris Woakes hasn’t played a Test in the past 12 months, despite travelling with the squad. He has picked 112 wickets in 38 Tests at 29.30 – at home, he averages a brilliant 22.87; that number drops significantly to 51.68 outside England. He averages 27.52 with the bat.
India fight back at Headingley
Meanwhile, speaking of action on the field, India put up a fightback on Day 3 in Headingley. After picking the remainder of two England wickets and losing KL Rahul early, fifties from Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara have kept India in the hunt to come out at least with a draw. But they would also require plenty of help from the weather. At the end of the 72nd over in India’s innings, they have put up 185 runs for the loss of both the openers and still trail by 169 runs.