‘Outstanding’ Chris Woakes is England’s unsung hero, Alec Stewart tells Cricket Debate

Alec Stewart sung the praises of the often-unheralded Chris Woakes after the England seamer’s five-for on day five at Emirates Old Trafford.

Woakes took 5-50 as England beat the West Indies in Manchester to clinch a 2-1 series win and regain the Wisden Trophy.

  • Broad’s 500th, Woakes five-for seal series for England
  • Broad ‘fresh’ and ‘excited’ after 500th Test wicket

Such a feat would normal being enough to take the headlines but after Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket in a man-of-the-match display, Woakes’ efforts could have gone underappreciated again and Stewart believes it is time the bowling all-rounder got more recognition.

“He’s almost the unsung hero of the England set-up because we talk about Broad and Anderson then the pace of Archer and Wood, where as Woakes just goes quietly about his business,” the former England captain told The Cricket Debate.

“I’m a massive fan of Woakes, especially in England. His record in England is outstanding. It’s a real feather in his cap that he got the nod when Chris Silverwood said ‘we are picking our very best bowling attack for this Test match we have to win.’

“Sam Curran played one Test match and got three wickets, he wants to chase down Chris Woakes’ slot but, at the moment, while Woakes is in this form it is going to be very tough for young Sam Curran to get in.

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August 5, 2020, 10:30am

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“But I’m a massive fan of Chris Woakes and I’m pleased he finished with a five-for because a lot of the time his performances go under the radar compared to these perceived bigger players.”

Meanwhile, West Indies legend Courtney Walsh felt Jason Holder’s side might have been guilty of playing it safe after going 1-0 up in the series before back-to-back defeats at Emirates Old Trafford saw them lose the Wisden Trophy.

“They were probably thinking ‘we’re 1-0 up, let’s play safe and try not to lose the next two’ and I think that played into England’s hands, especially in the last one with the history of the ground,” he said.

“To win the toss twice and not bat first, it is a good question for them to answer. I think it probably cost us.

“But you still can’t take anything away from England, they played some very good cricket, they had some top-class bowlers and Broad came in with a point to prove in the second Test and just continued with that momentum. Once momentum swung England’s way, they were dominant.”

Also on The Cricket Debate, Mark Butcher, Lydia Greenway, Stewart and Walsh discussed…

England vs Ireland

July 30, 2020, 1:30pm

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– Whether Stuart Broad is still getting better after his 500th Test wicket

– England’s “impressive” opening pair

– Who stood out for the West Indies

– The threat Pakistan will pose England in next month’s series

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