Press Trust of india

Raising bat at the Lord’s is boyhood dream: Woakes

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London, Aug 12:  Having endured frustrations of a long lay-off due to injury, Chris Woakes felt “incredible” after realising his childhood dream of scoring a Test hundred at the ‘Home Of Cricket’ in his comeback game.

Replacing Ben Stokes wasn’t an easy job but Woakes made the most of his opportunity by getting Indian captain Virat Kohli on the second day and followed it up with his maiden Test hundred as England maintained their stranglehold on India with a 250-run first innings lead.

“That feeling of raising your bat to a standing ovation at Lord’s is a bit of a boyhood dream. But it’s an incredible feeling,” a visibly elated Woakes told mediapersons after the end of third day’s play.

Woakes had recently become a father and said that his teammates had asked him to do a “baby celebration” but it all became a bit of blur once he achieved the coveted landmark.

“The lads did ask me actually where was the baby celebration, but for some reason, that wasn’t really on my mind. I didn’t really have any ideas of how I was going to celebrate, and didn’t really know how to but I’m obviously just delighted. It’s still a bit of a blur. It seems to go so fast 30 seconds of raising your bat feels literally like a blink of the eye,” Woakes said.

He admitted that he was a bit nervous as he approached the three-figure mark but Jonny Bairstow was a calming influence on him.

“I was probably getting a little bit nervous in the 90s. All of a sudden, you start thinking of three-figures, start wafting at things outside off-stump, which I hadn’t been doing. Jonny (Bairstow) came down and had a word, which settled me.”

Stokes now enjoys the rare honour of having his name on three different Honours’ Board at the Lord’s. He has now completed a treble of five-for, 10-for and century at the hallowed ground.

“It’s a sweet day. It has been a frustrating summer so far, missing quite a bit of cricket. I was over the moon to get the call to be back in the squad. I could never really have dreamt of scoring a hundred in my comeback Test. With five or six weeks out injured, you’re watching the boys all summer and you want to be out there,” he said

He didn’t feel ready during the first Test at Edgbaston but found himself in good space both mentally and physically before the Lord’s game.

But the biggest challenge was to fill in the boots of Ben Stokes, who had a great opening Test before he had to leave for his court hearing with regards to bar brawl in Bristol.

“I definitely felt my body was ready (here), and from a mental side of things I was ready to play. Coming in in place of Ben Stokes, it’s quite big shoes to fill. But you try not to think about that I don’t try to play like him. I play like myself, try to do my job for the team, and thankfully I’ve done that so far,” he said.

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