England’s Chris Woakes: We can come back strongly in New Zealand ODI campaign
Chris Woakes relishes the pressure of death-bowling for England.
Chris Woakes has the self-confidence to bounce back from the disappointment of a near miss and prove England’s one-day international campaign against New Zealand is very much still on the rails.
Woakes could be forgiven mixed feelings at the weekend as, five days before his 29th birthday, he completed a rare ODI double of 100 wickets and 1,000 runs – yet finished on the losing side as he failed to stop big-hitting Mitch Santner putting the hosts 1-0 up.
Only three other Englishmen have previously reached Woakes’ new all-round milestone – and the names of Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood demonstrate he has reached elite company.
For all that, he could not even come close to defending nine from the last over in Hamilton on Sunday when Santner smashed him for six to complete a three-wicket win with four balls to spare.
Faint heart has not got Woakes this far, however, and he has no doubt England can level the five-match series at the Bay Oval on Wednesday.
“We know we’ve gone behind in series before and come back strongly,” he said.
“I think we’ve got the characters in the dressing-room to know that the other day wasn’t a train smash by any means.”
If it is down to him to keep England in the series, he will relish the challenge again.
“Definitely,” he said.
“You put yourself in that position to try and win the game.
“There have been times when you come through it and you bowl that last over and you’re the hero.
“There are other times when it goes against you.”
How many runs would he like to play with, though?
“You’d ideally want 10 or more, just to give you that one bad ball or one that’s nicked for four.
“Nine, you still back yourself to defend – unfortunately we didn’t do it.”
He will bank other more helpful memories.
“Obviously I’ve got a mental thought of times it’s gone well – you try and put yourself into that mental state, where you’ve been before and know you’ve come out on top.
“You try (to) visualise it.
“But we aren’t machines, and sometimes you are (going) to slightly get it wrong.”
Win or lose here, Woakes’ talents are already sufficiently renowned to have bagged him a return stint in this year’s lucrative Indian Premier League.
This time, it will be on an £800,000 contract for Royal Challengers Bangalore – where he plans to continue to learn plenty but spend little of the riches on offer.
“As cricketers, we are very lucky to earn a good salary anyway,” said Woakes.
“I suppose to earn footballers’ wages from an Englishman’s point of view, for six weeks, is nice.
“(But) I’m probably more on the cautious side of things.
“You try and prepare for life after cricket – it’s a short career, and God knows what the future holds.
“So I definitely look to save more than splash the cash.”