‘It feels like a long time coming, but was well worth the wait’: Chris Woakes delights in starring role for England after recall for fourth Test against India
- Chris Woakes took four wickets for 55 on an impressive return to the Test side
- ‘It feels like a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait’, he said
- England were in commanding position but then lost early wickets and Joe Root
- Woakes still feels as though hosts can bat themselves into a commanding lead
Chris Woakes bemoaned the late dismissal of Joe Root as India’s bowlers struck back on a pulsating first day of the crucial fourth Test.
After Woakes’s four for 55 helped dismiss the tourists for 191, England closed on 53 for three – with Root bowled in the day’s penultimate over for 21 by a beauty from Indian fast bowler Umesh Yadav.
That left the Test in the balance, and Woakes said: ‘We were really happy to bowl them out cheaply, but we would like not to have lost three wickets, including Joe, given the form he’s been in.
Chris Woakes took four wickets on a successful return to England’s Test side
‘But I still feel like we can bat well, get a good lead and put the pressure back on them. It will be a big second day. I’d like to think we are on top, but the morning session will be crucial.’
Playing his first Test for over a year following a variety of mishaps – including Covid isolation and a bruised heel caused by slipping down the stairs – Woakes admitted: ‘I was desperate to play cricket again, and it’s good to be back. It feels like a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait.
‘There are going to be some bowling pains in the morning, but it’s good to have those back. Plenty of people around the world have had a worse 18 months than I have, but not to have capitalised on last year does feel like I might have missed out a little bit. It’s nice to show what I can do and showcase my skills.’
The bowler was impressive and is optimistic England can now build a lead in the game
England would have been better placed but for a raucous 36-ball 57 from No 8 Shardul Thakur, playing only his fourth Test after sitting out the last two matches with hamstring trouble.
At 127 for seven, India might have been skittled for 150. But his half-century, the third-quickest in Tests against England, lifted his side towards respectability.
‘When Rishabh Pant got out, it was important for me to play such an innings,’ said Thakur. ‘There are two ways: you can either be patient and bank on all of the partners coming in, or if it’s in your slot, hit it. I was connecting properly, so I kept going for the shots.
‘Wickets kept falling at regular intervals, but we did well to get up to 190. Right now the game is equally poised. We have a chance.’
England bowled India out for 191 and were three wickets down themselves at the close
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