Chris Woakes, the England all-rounder delivered a Man of the Match performance at Lord's which England won inside four days despite rain playing a spoilsport in the opening day of the Test match.
On a pitch where the Indian batsmen were left clueless and the England batsmen had their share of problems, Chris Woakes showed the ideal mix of application and concentration to score his first Test ton. This happened after not too long ago, Woakes was fighting a battle with fitness and was struggling to make a comeback in the team. Notably, Woakes missed the entire limited overs series due to his injury.
Woakes replaced Stokes in this Test match and took his opportunity with both hands. First, he bowled a spell of 2-19 in the Indian first innings and one of his wickets was Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper.
Woakes said regarding his comeback "It has been a frustrating summer so far, missing quite a bit of cricket. But it's all so sweet today... I was over the moon to get the call to be back in the squad. I could never really have dreamt of scoring a hundred in my comeback Test," Woakes said after scoring a fluent 137 not out that all but shut India out of the game."
Woakes went onto add that "Coming in place of Stokes, these are big shoes to fill. But you try not to think about that - I don't try to play like him, I play like myself, try to do my job for the team, and thankfully I've done that so far," Woakes said.
England on their part, have taken great advantage of home conditions in totally outplaying India in the first two Test matches. They won the first Test by 31 runs and handed India an innings defeat in the second Test. The third Test starts from August 18 at Trent Bridge.
(With TOI Inputs)