Chris Woakes expects ‘tough challenge’ from Pakistan

Pakistan will be playing its first Test since February but England all-rounder Woakes expects the visiting team to pose a tough challenge when the sides lock horns in the first Test at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Chris Woakes recently became the third-fastest English cricketer to claim 100 wickets besides scoring 1,000+ runs in Test cricket.   -  AP

The last time England won a Test series against Pakistan was on July 29, 2010. However, Chris Woakes has said the side will look to set things right when it goes up against the Asian visitor in the first Test at Old Trafford in Manchester from Wednesday.

“We want to win every series we can — more so at home. I remember being part of the 2016 series and I feel we missed an opportunity there. I think that just shows how competitive Pakistan can be anywhere in the world. They've always fought the good fight. We're going to have a good series and hopefully we can be a challenge to them and come out on top,” the bowling all-rounder said.

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Pakistan will be playing its first Test since February but Woakes expects the team to pose a tough challenge. “Pakistan are always competitive. They've got good experience, some exciting new players and fast bowlers as well. So we know that they're going to be a tough challenge particularly in our home conditions,” he said.

England, he believes, will benefit from its experience in the recently concluded Test series against West Indies. “We felt at the beginning of the West Indies series that we were probably a little bit under-prepared. Now hopefully, having had that series will stand us in good stead. But Pakistan are dangerous and we'll have to be on the money from ball one,”he said.

In the last 10 Test series, England has lost the first match on eight occasions. “It’s almost just a coincidence that we keep losing that first Test match. But it also shows good character. It shows that we've got the grits within the dressing room to come from behind but yeah, this is a new series and we want to make sure that we get it right,” the 31-year-old, who finished with a match haul of 5-76 in the third Test against the West Indies, said. He recently became the third-fastest English cricketer to claim 100 wickets besides scoring 1,000+ runs in red-ball cricket.

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Ben Stokes was unable to bowl in the third Test against West Indies due to a quad injury and will need to prove his fitness to bowl during the training sessions on Monday and Tuesday. Woakes said he was unaware if Ben Stokes had regained his full fitness.

Pakistan Tour of England will be aired LIVE only on SONY SIX channels from August 5, 2020, 3.30 pm onwards.

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