Woakes wants England to be positive in Pakistan victory charge

Pakistan is ahead in the first Test with an overall lead of 244 having gone to stumps on 137 for eight in its second innings at the end of third day.


Chris Woakes celebrates with teammates after dismissing Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali.   -  AP

Seamer Chris Woakes admits England need quick wickets on the fourth morning and then positivity in chasing down the victory target to win the first test against Pakistan at Old Trafford.

Pakistan is ahead in the game with an overall lead of 244 having gone to stumps on 137 for eight in its second innings, a score that illustrates the wearing nature of a wicket on which England will have to bat last.

“When you lose the toss on a surface like this you are always going to be up against it, especially if there is a first innings deficit,” Woakes told reporters at the close of the third day.


“At the same time, we have given ourselves a chance. They are not completely away from us, and we feel we can get them, even if we do still have to pick up two wickets in the morning.”

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Only once before have more runs been successfully chased in 81 previous Tests at Old Trafford, when England managed 294 for four against New Zealand in 2008.

But it was not up against a wily seam attack of the quality of Pakistan, or the twin leg-spin threat of Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, who between them took 6-79 in the England first innings and will get even greater assistance second time around.

Whatever England do chase, Woakes believes the team will need to be aggressive with the bat.

“We have got to come out and try and be positive. If you look to sit in on this wicket, especially against the spin, there will be one with your name on it.

“It will be a challenge. We have to try and knock them over without them building any sort of partnership (in the morning). It is an exciting day ahead.”

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