Chris Woakes: Injured bowler set to miss first England vs New Zealand test

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Chris Woakes looks certain to be left out of England’s first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord’s, having failed to shake off injuries sustained during the Caribbean tour in March.

Woakes was one of only two England players (the other being Jonny Bairstow) to tour the Caribbean this winter, plus Australia for the Ashes and the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup.

The absence of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, as well as the touring injuries of Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood, forced Woakes to play three Tests in three weeks in the Caribbean. The series capped off a difficult winter in Test cricket which saw him take just 11 wickets in five matches.

At 33, Woakes’ body struggled to keep up with the schedule and he returned to Warwickshire with various injuries including his shoulder and knee. He’s not expected to need surgery, but he’s not ready to play yet.

England are due to name a team next week, which is also bad news for Dan Lawrence, who beat No. 4 in the Caribbean (it has since been confirmed that Joe Root will return to this location). Essex do not have a Division 1 game this week and Lawrence has missed the last two rounds of action with a hamstring injury.

Woakes has had a mediocre winter but has a superb record at Lord’s, where the first Test against New Zealand begins on June 2, and his name is on all three honor rolls for making a century and making five and 10 shots counter.

The series continues at Trent Bridge on June 10. If Woakes is able to take the field for Warwickshire’s encounter with Yorkshire next week, he could enter this game.

England already have a bunch of injured bowlers. Sam Curran bats well for Surrey but has few overtakes in his legs, while Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone will all miss the series.

Robinson took five wickets in his first appearance of the season for Sussex and will compete alongside James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Saqib Mahmood and Craig Overton for three bowling places.


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