Chris Woakes confident he can repeat workhouse feat in gruelling Cricket World Cup schedule

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Chris Woakes has set his sights on carrying his superb summer form into what could be a famous autumn as he targets another ever-present run during England’s Cricket World Cup defence.

Woakes, who was England’s player of the series during the 2-2 Ashes draw with Australia, is preparing to lead the attack as Jos Buttler’s side seek to become back-to-back world champions in India from the start of next month.

The seamer was a key part of the 2019 World Cup triumph, taking 16 wickets and featuring in each of England’s 11 games across the course of the tournament, but whether that is possible this time around remains to be seen.

The 34-year-old has endured several prolonged spells out through injury in the four years since and England have packed their provisional squad with six seamers in anticipation of a heavy workload across nine group matches that will be played in eight different cities. Woakes, however, believes his body is up to repeating the feat.

“I hope so,” Woakes said, after taking three wickets in a sensational new-ball spell as England hammered New Zealand by 181 runs in last night’s Third ODI. “You want to keep putting in performances like that to keep getting the nod, selection wise.

“From a fitness point of view, these bilateral series are quite tight and there’s a lot of travelling. Although there’s a lot of travel at the World Cup, it looks like there’s more space between games so it does give you a bit more of a routine to recover and come back stronger and be fit for the next game so yeah, hopefully I can stay fit.

“You have a strong squad to try and rotate at times but also in a World Cup, you try and get your best eleven out there as much as you can.”

On an historic afternoon at the Oval, Ben Stokes set a new record for the highest ODI score ever by an England batter, the all-rounder hammering 182 from just 124 balls to surpass Jason Roy’s mark of 180, set against Australia in 2018.

Stokes retired from 50-over cricket last summer citing an unmanageable workload after taking on the Test captaincy, but reversed that decision last month and has taken no time at all in getting up to speed in the format.

“It’s great for the group and obviously, brilliant for Ben,” Woakes added. “We obviously see Ben as this superhuman that can do incredible things.

“He’s an unbelievable cricketer but coming back into the team having retired, it will do his confidence a world of good.

“Coming back into the team is probably a refreshing feeling for him, without the captaincy on his shoulders. To run the England Test team is a tough job. He’s probably seen this as a breath of fresh air to play his natural game and be his natural person, which he always does.

“This group of players who have been around this team for a long time, always feel comfortable when we come back together.”