Chris Woakes has been given the chance to stake an early claim for an Ashes call-up after being drafted into England’s touring squad that faces New Zealand this February.
Woakes replaces the injured Tim Bresnan, who will return home when England finish their tour of India and seek medical advice regarding an elbow injury to his right arm.
If the hurt proves bad enough to keep Bresnan out for a while, he may find it difficult to force his way back into the England fold when they play the Kiwis in the summer – for Woakes may have solidified his place in the squad.
Woakes, has an excellent chance to prove himself worthy of a Test place after making a number of games for England’s short-form teams. The all-rounder made his debut for England in a T20 international against Australia in January 2011 and has since gone on to make seven ODI appearances, crucially taking six wickets for 45 in England’s fifth one-dayer against the Aussies two years ago in Brisbane.
The all-rounder has proven competent with the bat and ball at club level, hitting over 2,800 first-class runs at an average of 38; while his 254 wickets in 128 innings proves this medium-pacer can bowl at a consistent level.England’s T20 cricket odds will certainly not be hindered by his inclusion.
Although he scored a duck in his most recent England outing – against India in Kochi this January – and was sunk for 1-60 in his nine overs, he nevertheless deserves a chance to prove his worth in New Zealand and may even earn a Test cap should Alastair Cook’s side waver in their first match in early March. Though the England Cricket Betting suggest they should win the Test series with relative ease.
If Woakes can prove a valuable asset to this England side the all-rounder could secure his place in the reverse tour in England come May. All things going well, he will fight with Bresnan for a place in the squad when Australia visit later this summer and could develop into a major player of England’s Ashes series.