Chris Woakes: Warwickshire star finds extra pace for England deal

Chris Woakes
Woakes cut his teeth in the Birmingham League with Walmley before making his Warwickshire debut in 2006

Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes says ironing out his bowling action and gaining extra pace was key to winning his central contract with England.

He was included in the contracted list after working his way back into the Test and one-day set-up this summer.

"I've worked hard over the last couple of years and it's slowly got quicker and quicker," the 25-year-old said.

"I've put on a good yard of pace but I feel like I'm still accurate and can still move the ball sideways."

Woakes made his one-day and Twenty20 international debuts on England's successful Ashes tour in 2010-11.

But he had a tough time when he made his Test debut against Australia in the final match of the 2013 series when he took 1-96 from 24 overs in the first innings and did not bowl in the second.

After that experience, Woakes focused hard on improving his action with Warwickshire's bowling coach at the time, Graeme Welch, and his successor Alan Richardson.

"I worked on a few things with Graeme, when he was here, and then Alan and also with David Saker and Kevin Shine with England," Woakes told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.

"You get to know your body and what it can take and what it can't and it was probably a bit of a technical issue with my front arm.

Chris Woakes' bowling stats so far
Tests: 4First-class matches: 102
Wickets: 6Wkts: 346
Average: 52.16Average: 25.52
Best: 3-30Best: 7-20
ODIs: 17 List A games: 84
Wkts: 20Wkts: 87
Economy: 5.77 (runs per over)Econ: 5.54
Best: 6-45Best: 6-45
T20s: 6T20s: 77
Wkts: 4Wkts: 77
Econ: 9.84 (runs per over)Econ: 8.17
Best: 1-29Best: 4-21

"My main attribute was my ability to swing the ball and I didn't want to lose that. It's been over a period of about three years and it's good to see the rewards."

Woakes played the last three Tests of the series against India this summer, taking 3-30 in England's crushing win in the fifth match at the Oval, and was the home side's leading wicket-taker in the one-day series that followed.

He also kept his nerve to bowl England to a three-run win in a final-ball thriller in the only T20 international between the sides on his home ground at Edgbaston and was also entrusted with the final over as his county won the T20 Blast.

"It's been a great summer to be involved in all three formats. I got my spot and felt like I did pretty well," he added.

"I've always said it's better to be in squads than not be and it was frustrating at times to carry the drinks but hard work does pay off.

"There's a lot of cricket before the World Cup next year and hopefully I can get on the tour to Sri Lanka and do well."

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