Chris Woakes is confident he will play a full role in the T20 World Cup after taking a “risk” to get involved in England’s opening tournament win over Afghanistan.
Woakes returned to England last month for the first time since spring following an operation on his left knee, but was dubious playing in Perth on Saturday with right quadriceps pain.
He passed a fitness test to convince England he was ready and then racked up a respectable one for 24 after beating the penultimate and three in powerplay in his team’s five-wicket win.
England may be shuffling their bowling options against Ireland at the MCG on Wednesday, with Australia arriving 48 hours later, but Woakes said they are fit and need not be protected forward.
“You feel like you can’t take a break and that’s in the back of your mind,” she said. “But as a fast bowler you will pile up problems here and there, and kids rarely throw 100%.
“There was probably a bit of a risk in facing Afghanistan, but I was desperate to play and (England) was happy to follow my lead in terms of how I felt and my experience of how the my body.
“It’s only with a muscle injury that you can make things worse and as it’s a relatively short tournament you don’t want it to get worse. This was the game I was afraid of coming too fast.
“After passing four overs and fielding for 20 overs and passing my fitness test, I feel good. Fingers crossed, if I am selected, I am available for all five matches of the Super 12 group ”.
against Ireland in Melbourne, 26 October
v Australia in Melbourne, Oct.28
v New Zealand in Brisbane, November 1
v Sri Lanka in Sydney, 5 November
England was collectively brilliant with the ball on a stretchy Perth surface, but is now on Australia’s east coast, which has been wetter and cooler than usual due to La Nina’s weather pattern.
The weather in Melbourne is notoriously difficult to predict, but showers are expected on Wednesday and Friday, which could hamper England’s attempt to move closer to the semi-finals.
But conditions could also favor swing and seam, which would be a plus for Woakes, who is not used to useful throws in Australia after battling England’s recent Ashes away trips to the Down Under.
“If it’s cloudy and swings, I’m more than happy it is,” added Woakes.
“There’s usually hot sun and flat wickets here, so I’m more than happy it’s a tournament dominated by bowlers, but I’m not sure that’s the case.
“Let’s hope the ball moves in the air, this definitely helps us as a bowling unit, so we’ll see. Maybe we will feel at home in all the rain ”.
England could decide to reduce the workload of Woakes and Mark Wood and bring two of Chris Jordan and left-wing armaments David Willey and Tymal Mills against Ireland, with an eye on Australia.
As Ireland began their Super 12 campaign with a hefty defeat to Sri Lanka, they defeated Scotland and the two-time West Indies winners to get to this stage.
Woakes is therefore adamant that they cannot be underestimated.
“We know they are a dangerous team,” added Woakes. “In order for any team to pass the group they just passed, to eliminate the West Indies, you need to be able to play good cricket.
“They have some dangerous players and some players we know relatively well from all over the English county circuit. It’s a huge match for both teams and we can’t wait to face the challenge. “