Ashes 2019: Chris Woakes believes England 'slight favourites' as old rivals prepare to lock horns

Yahoo Sport UK

World Cup winner Chris Woakes believes England are favourites for the upcoming Ashes series.

The 30-year-old, from Birmingham, will likely play a supporting role in the 2019 series as the hosts look to regain the urn.

While the first Test begins on August 1, England will be eager to claim bragging rights over fierce rivals Australia once more - having knocked them out of the World Cup en route to winning the tournament earlier in July.

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Woakes, an Edgbaston native with Warwickshire, is one of a number of contenders to feature in that opening match - with debutant Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad and James Anderson almost guaranteed starters.

And he believes England’s wealth of experience and talent makes them slight favourites against the existing holders.

"We've got a lot of players in the team that have got Ashes experience, which I think is really important when it comes to Ashes cricket - it's intense," Woakes said.

"To have that experience with guys who have played it and been there, who have won Ashes Test matches and have won Ashes series is really crucial.

Chris Woakes is no stranger to the Ashes. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Chris Woakes is no stranger to the Ashes. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
But the bowler will be hoping England's triumph in the World Cup will help propel them to double success (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
But the bowler will be hoping England's triumph in the World Cup will help propel them to double success (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

"Also, with it being in home conditions you'd like to think that we've got a slight advantage of knowing how to play our best cricket at home so hopefully those things can work in our favour.".

Woakes, who tasted Ashes glory in 2013, is wary of the impact of a five-Test long series on a squad.

It is particularly pertinent in a summer following the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup - where key players feature in both sides.

But rotation will be key as England seek to complete the perfect summer haul, according to the seamer.

"The squad, I'm sure, will rotate at times but as a bowler you need to make sure you find some form whether it be out in the middle in practice or in the nets - you still need to find that rhythm because, particularly for myself, rhythm is important to my bowling,” he added.

"Guys need to make sure that they are in the right state of mind but also that their bodies are still good and fresh and ready to go."

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