Woakes to return for England for Headingley Test
|Second Invest Test: England v West Indies|
|Venue: Headingley Dates: 25-29 August Start: 11:00 BST|
|Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.|
Chris Woakes will return to the England side for Friday’s second Test against West Indies at Headingley.
The Warwickshire all-rounder has not played international cricket since June after struggling with a side strain.
He will replace fellow pace bowler Toby Roland-Jones, who took four wickets at Edgbaston as England won the first Test by an innings and 209 runs.
“It’s a great chance for Chris to come back into the side and show his class,” captain Joe Root said.
West Indies drew criticism for their lacklustre performance in the previous Test – which was a day-night match – as England thrashed them in three days to take a 1-0 series lead.
The three-match series is England’s last Test preparation before they travel to Australia in November for the Ashes.
Woakes return bolsters England
Woakes took seven wickets and scored 65 on his return to first-class cricket against Middlesex earlier this month.
A regular in all three formats for England, the 28-year-old bowled just two overs in England’s first Champions Trophy match against Bangladesh, before leaving the field.
He was an important part of England’s Test side last summer, taking 26 wickets in four Tests against Pakistan, and scoring 177 runs in seven innings.
Woakes was replaced in the Test squad by Middlesex seamer Roland-Jones, who has taken 14 wickets at an average of 19.35 in three Test appearances this year.
“Roland-Jones has not done a lot wrong at all, he’s played some fantastic cricket and I see him being a massive part of our future moving forward,” Root added.
England will avoid complacency
West Indies have not won a Test in England since 2000 and have not won a series away from home against a team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since 1995.
However, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow said England were wary of a West Indies fight-back following their poor performance in the first Test.
“There’s talent and a lot of desire in the West Indies side, a lot of want to prove people wrong and we don’t want to be at the other end of that,” the Yorkshire player told BBC Sport.
“We’re expecting the West Indies to come back at us pretty hard after Edgbaston.”
England have lost two of their past four Test matches at Headingley and still have issues in their batting line-up, with Durham’s Mark Stoneman the latest player to open alongside Alastair Cook.
Bairstow backed the team to score runs in Leeds.
“If you don’t respect the conditions, then it can be difficult,” the 27-year-old said.
“If you get through those difficult periods – if it’s a bit cloudy and it’s nipping or swinging – then it’s a fantastic place to bat.”
Law disappointed by criticism
West Indian bowling great Sir Curtly Ambrose was one of many to criticise the side following the first Test, describing the performance as “embarrassing and pathetic.”
Head coach Stuart Law said he was disappointed that Ambrose – a former bowling coach with the national side – had criticised the side in a newspaper column, rather than addressing the players face-to-face.
“We have to understand why it is there. We are not performing as well as we want,” Law said.
“What can we do? We have to get our noses down, our backsides up and play better. I believe in these young men. They have got high skills.
“It is just the experience of learning how to play in a very tough environment.”
Despite having fast bowler Shannon Gabriel available for selection, West Indies are expected to go with the same side that lost in Birmingham.