4th Test: Bowling India out for 191 very pleasing, was desperate to play, says Woakes

Written by Sumit Seth

Chris Woakes took four wickets on his return to Test cricket after an absence of over a year. Woakes dismissed opener Rohit Sharma before taking the wickets of Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant. He then ended Shardul Thakur’s swashbuckling counter-attack, ending the innings as England’s highest wicket taker.

“It was great to be back in whites, winning the toss, and bowling India out for 191 was very pleasing,” the 32-year-old, who last played a Test against Pakistan in August 2020, told reporters.

Woakes’ dismissal of Thakur ended a counter-attacking 63-run stand that came off just 48 balls that the latter made with Umesh Yadav for the sixth wicket. Thakur had smashed 57 off 36 balls, which is the fastest half century by an Indian in Tests.

Woakes was declared England’s player of the year in 2020 and played an integral role in England’s 2019 World Cup win. And yet, his international appearances have been sporadic in the last two years, largely due to injuries and Covid-19 rules. He suffered a freak heel injury, when he slipped down a fleet of stairs.

“I was desperate to play cricket. It’s been a bit tricky coming back from a heel injury. I was watching from home, always wanting to be a part of the series.

“It’s been a weird year, been up and down, caught in isolation then in summer picked up a niggle. It was worth the wait and I really enjoyed it,” Woakes, who replaced left-arm pacer Sam Curran, said.

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Sumit Seth