Born in the West Midlands, Chris Woakes is a stereotypical English cricketer who bowls seam up and contributes valuable lower-order runs. A county cricket devotee, Chris Woakes has played for Warwickshire since 2006 and has become a regular in the England lineup across formats.
England, England A, England XI, MCC, Warwickshire, Wellington, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals, England Under-19, Sydney Thunder, England Lions, Birmingham Phoenix
Batting Career Summary
Bowling Career Summary
Woakes played for Warwickshire’s under-15 and under-17 teams aside from representing the Academy and Second XI squads. Woakes came into the limelight in 2009 in the County Championship when he picked up 42 wickets at an average of 20.57, the best figures ever achieved by any Warwickshire bowler. His incredible show soon catapulted Chris Woakes into the England national teams.
Chris Woakes’s T20I Career
Surprisingly, Chris Woakes first made an appearance for England in T20Is, a format he hasn’t quite thrived in. In January 2011, Chris Woakes made his T20I debut against Australia at Adelaide. He took the new ball and made an impact with the bat, remaining unbeaten on 19 as England won by one wicket. That was perhaps the highlight of Woakes’s T20 career as he went on to play just 8 T20Is for England, featuring in the team between 2011 and 2015. With England changing their limited-overs plans in 2015, Woakes’s role of a holding pacer in T20Is was not demanded and he was promptly dropped from the team to never return again. All in all, Woakes played 8 T20Is, picking seven wickets at an average of 36.14 and scoring just 91 runs with the bat with the highest of 37. His all-round qualities, though, continue to be in demand in franchise cricket where his abilities to bowl seam up in the powerplay overs and bat late in an innings make him a quality all-rounder.
The same month he made his T20I debut Chris Woakes made his ODI debut too. His first match was played against Australia in Sydney in January 2011. Between 2011 and 2020, Woakes has been a regular in the England ODI squads although he continues to be in and out of the starting XI. With England moving on from James Anderson and Stuart Broad in ODIs since 2015, Woakes got a bigger role as a new-ball bowler who could chip in with a few overs in the middle of an innings. His ability to bat and make compelling knocks helped him pip Stuart Broad as a better option for England in ODIs.
Woakes has played 101 ODIs in total, taking 143 wickets at an average of 30.65 with nine hauls of four wickets or more. His best spell of 6/45 came against Australia at Brisbane in January 2011, the same month he made his ODI debut. He scored another six-wicket haul against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2014. With the kind of new ball spells he produced, Woakes was a key player in England’s World Cup-winning campaign in 2019. Woakes took 16 wickets in 11 matches in the 2019 World Cup while also making the highest score of 40.
Woakes was not quite a Ben Stokes type of an all-rounder but he was reliable enough for England to stick by him. His highest ODI score of 95 not out came against Sri Lanka in Nottingham in 2016. This was the highest ODI score ever achieved by a batsman at no 8 or lower in the history of One Day International cricket. The game, an engrossing thriller, ended in a draw and Woakes was awarded Man of the Match.
Woakes had an exemplary series’ performance with the bat against Australia in 2018 where he made scores of 78, 53* and 39*. Since 2016, Chris Woakes has been particularly impressive, averaging 42.4, 42.25, 41 and 40 in four out of five years.
Chris Woakes’s Test Career
The format most suited to Chris Woakes is Test cricket. In the longest format of the game, Woakes has made a significant impact for England, particularly in home Tests. Chris Woakes has played just 34 Tests with more regular opportunities coming in the last few years as England looked to rotate James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
In 34 Tests, Chris Woakes has 100 Test wickets at an average of 30.10 with the best of 6/17 coming against Ireland in 2019 at Lord’s. Woakes has the best match haul of 11/102 which came against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2016 when he picked up 6/70 and 5/32 in two innings. Woakes has been particularly good performing for England in home conditions where he averages 22.9 with the ball as against an average over 50 in away Tests.
With the bat, Woakes has an average of 26.15 with a century and four half-centuries. His best knock of 137 not out came against India at Lord’s in 2018. His other half-centuries have come against Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand. Woakes’s role of a late-order all-rounder in Tests has served England well in home matches and he has been a regular feature in the starting XI since 2018.
In first-class cricket, Chris Woakes has played 148 wickets, taking 502 wickets at an average of 25.33 with 20 five-wicket hauls. With the bat, Woakes has 10 centuries including the best of 152 not out.
Chris Woakes in the IPL
Being not quite a T20 player, Woakes has managed to be in and around franchise cricket, mostly in the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he has performed for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, formerly called Delhi Daredevils.
Woakes has played 18 matches in the IPL, taking 25 wickets at an average of 23.04 with the best of 3/6. However, one can have certain concerns about his economy rate of 9.24 in the league which he outweighs with a strike rate of 14.96, one of the best figures achieved by seamers in the league.
Woakes’s ability to bowl with the new ball and contribute runs with the bat down the order made him a fairly easy choice for franchises in the latter years when all-rounders were in high demand. Woakes played in the IPL in 2017 and 2018.
Woakes was bought by Delhi Capitals in the 2020 IPL auction for Rs. 1.5 Crore, the base price he had set for himself. However, he later pulled out of the tournament.
“By no means do I feel like I’m finished in T20,” Woakes said when stepping back from the league. “I’d still love to play in the IPL. In hindsight, I probably didn’t need to pull out. I didn’t say it at the time but we’re expecting another baby in September and that added to the decision”, he added.
Aside from playing for Warwickshire in the T20 Blast and in the IPL, Chris Woakes also played in the Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder in 2013. All in all, Chris Woakes has played in 111 T20s, taking 121 wickets at an average of 25.12 with the best figures of 4/21. He also has 803 runs at a batting average of 24.33 with two fifties. Teams have been reluctant to use Chris Woakes up the batting order the main reason for which is probably him not being a big hitter.