England all-rounder Chris Woakes has returned home from the India tour after spending a long time on the sidelines in the Test squad. Woakes last played a Test match for the national team in August 2020.
The 31-year-old has gone back as part of England’s rotational policy amid the COVID pandemic.
Woakes was named in England squad for South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India series but wasn’t picked in the playing XI in any of the tours.
Woakes was particularly in contention to play the third test in Ahmedabad but England kept faith with veteran seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad in a four-pronged pace attack.
India routed them by 10 wickets inside two days on a dustbowl to go 2-1 up heading into next week’s fourth and final match, also in Ahmedabad.
Woakes will not be part of England’s bid to level the series with a team spokesman confirming the Warwickshire all-rounder has returned home.
The 31-year-old has endured a frustrating winter when he was part of the test squad in South Africa, Sri Lanka and India but could not break into the playing XI in any of the three series.
Woakes, who is set to return to India for the ODI leg next month, was particularly unlucky in Sri Lanka, where he was not picked for being in close contact of team mate Moeen Ali, who tested positive for COVID-19.
England paid the price for fielding a pace-heavy attack on a spinners’ paradise in the third test and coach Chris Silverwood said off-spinner Dom Bess, who missed the last two tests, would be considered for the final match.