Woakes keen to finish the summer well


Having enjoyed a breakthrough Test series against Pakistan, England allrounder Chris Woakes is keen to finish the summer off on a high as the two nations clash in an ODI series.

Woakes was England's star man with the ball in the recent series, and his performances have seen him cement a place in the England Test lineup even when Ben Stokes is fit.

The express pace he displayed, and more importantly the 26 wickets he picked up, have seen him move ahead of Steven Finn in the England pace pecking order.

In his column for Sky Sports, Woakes outlined his path to success: "Coming into the summer, I did not really know where I was going to be after the tour of South Africa.

"It went OK apart from the Test side of things and it didn't feel like I would be coming straight back into the side and playing much cricket for England.

"But I got the opportunity to play – unfortunately, due to Ben Stokes' injury – and at the time I was in good form for Warwickshire and playing some good cricket.

"It was then just a matter of taking each game as it comes and it has gone pretty well. I am in a position where I want to finish the summer really well. We have five really important one-day matches against what will be a strong Pakistan team and I'm really looking forward to the series."

While Woakes concedes it was disappointing to lose out on winning the series after Pakistan leveled the series at the Oval, he congratulated Pakistan on becoming the number one ranked Test nation, a feat England could also have achieved if they won the final Test.

Woakes continued: "Pakistan have just gone top of the ICC Test rankings and played some good cricket this summer – as did we – and the way they played at The Oval, where they outplayed us, they deserved the 2-2 draw in the end.

The allrounder admitted that it wouldn't have felt right if England went to number one now, as they still have so much to work on: "Of course, we want to get to No 1 but there are a few things we need to improve on, we were not perfect in the Test series by any means.

"We are not the finished article and we have got a lot of hard work to do before we can be classed as the No 1 team in the world.

"Something that Cooky [Alastair Cook] mentioned was that if we had beaten them at The Oval and gone to world No 1, it would have been a bit premature because we still feel that we have got plenty of improvements to make when the Test side gets back together."

England and Woakes now move back to limited overs cricket, and are keen to finish the summer on a high: "Next up are the ODIs and it was a great tour for us in the UAE last autumn, beating them in the one-day and T20 series.

"It was a great performance by all the lads, especially in their current home conditions. We went 1-0 down and the way we responded to win 3-1 was fantastic. We should take some confidence from that but we know that they'll be looking for some sort of revenge."

The Warwickshire star nows that Pakistan will be tough opponents in the ODIs but backed England to do well: "If we perform to our best and put in some really strong performances then hopefully we will come out on top.

"We know that it is going to be hard work and their ranking at the moment doesn't show just how good they actually are in one-day cricket. They always provide a tough challenge and we've got to stand up to that."