Woakes rues missed opportunity to push for test start v Sri Lanka

·2-min read
Third One Day International - England v Australia

(Reuters) - England seamer Chris Woakes was relieved to be out of his Sri Lanka hotel room after spending seven days in isolation but said he was unlikely to play in the first test that starts in Galle on Thursday.

With all-rounder Ben Stokes not available for this series, Woakes would have had a strong claim given his potential to bat at number seven, but said he is unlikely to be considered for the final line-up given the amount of cricket he has missed on the tour.

"I’m certainly up against it in terms of time, I only had my first bowl yesterday while the other guys have been bowling for a week," Woakes told reporters on Tuesday.

"So the chances of me playing are probably slim, especially as I haven’t played much cricket leading into this (series), which makes it an injury risk as well.

"I was hoping to push for a place in the starting XI. With no Stokes here it emphasises that all-rounder role that both myself and Sam Curran can fill. I was looking forward to trying to push my case."

Woakes was placed in isolation after he shared a lift with team mate Moeen Ali to the airport prior to the team’s departure from England.

Ali tested positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Sri Lanka and remains in quarantine, though he is no longer symptomatic.

"It (isolation) was fine, you get through it," Woakes says. "It was more that I did not expect it. I tried to keep myself busy with Netflix and PlayStation, talking to family and friends back home.

"And trying to get a fitness session in daily on my balcony. I just tried to keep myself busy as much as I could.

"He (Ali) has had it a little bit tough. But everyone is checking in with him to make sure he is OK."

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Pritha Sarkar)