Free Press Journal

Raising bat at Lord’s was boyhood dream: Chris Woakes


London : Having endured frustrations of a long lay-off due to an injury, Chris Woakes felt ‘incredible’ after realising his ‘boyhood dream’ of scoring a Test hundred at the ‘Home Of Cricket’.

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 on his international comeback.

“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 recently became a father and said that his teammates had asked him about customary ‘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.”

Woakes 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.

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