England face tricky decision over resting Woakes

Chris Woakes did his part in England’s dominant showing in Rajkot © AFP

England face a late selection quandary over the inclusion of Chris Woakes in the team for the second Test.

Woakes, who bowled immaculately in the first Test, was described as “fine to play” by England captain Alastair Cook. But the England captain also admitted Woakes was suffering from a “bowling niggle” and from the “wear and tear of bowling”.

As a result, England are considering rotating him with a view to injury prevention and to ensure he is fit for the final three Tests of the series.

If Woakes is rested – and it was noticeable that he did not play in the warm-up football match that precedes most training sessions – England have to decide whether to pick James Anderson, who has not played a game since August, or recall Steven Finn or Jake Ball.

“It’s a real tough one,” Cook admitted. “We know what we’ve got coming up but the way the 11 guys played in the last game was outstanding. So it’s either the rotation policy or do you stick with what we’ve got. That’s the decision we’ve got to make.

“Woakes is the one we’re looking at because of the amount of overs he has bowled over the last six or seven weeks. He was outstanding in Rajkot, so we will have to make a decision. He has just got a bowling niggle really. Just the normal wear and tear of bowling, so he’s fine to play.”

More to follow

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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