SYDNEY (Reuters) - England all-rounder Chris Woakes is hoping to remain a new-ball bowler throughout the World Cup after taking five for 19 in the crushing nine-wicket warm-up win over West Indies on Monday.
With Stuart Broad and James Anderson rested for the penultimate run-out before the start of the tournament, Woakes took full advantage of his chance to shine as England’s pace bowling spearhead.
Getting good bounce off the Sydney Cricket Ground track, he had Chris Gayle and Darren Bravo caught behind for ducks in the opening over and returned to mop up the West Indies tail with two of the last three wickets.
“I‘m sure they will probably say it was a couple of shots that weren’t what they would have liked to do usually,” Woakes told reporters.
“But I thought we put the ball in the right areas pretty well today.”
Woakes has worked hard on adding extra pace and variation to his bowling over the last year and thinks he deserves to retain new-ball duties for the team.
“Every time you put on the shirt you are trying to do your best for England but for your cause as well, you always want to do well for yourself,” he added.
“I have (taken the new ball) for roughly 10 games or so now, so it would be nice to think that I’ll get the new ball, fingers crossed.”
Monday’s figures will not be added to his career tally of two five-wicket hauls in one-dayers as the match was not an “A” international.
It was, however, a welcome return after his last outing, when he conceded 89 runs in 10 overs before getting out first ball as England lost to Australia in the Tri-series final.
“Obviously, it didn’t go to plan in Perth so it was nice to put in a better performance today,” he said.
”You always want to get back out there and try and put in a performance to try and get a bit more confidence back.
“But I feel like I’ve been doing the right things for a while now so one game isn’t going to change what I’ve been doing.”
Co-hosts Australia also loom as England’s first World Cup opponents at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday.
“We know they are a great team and we know they’ve had the wood over us in the Tri-series,” Woakes said.
“So I suppose we think we’ve got a point to prove and hopefully we can turn them over on Saturday.”
Editing by Michael Hann