Woakes tips Silverwood for Test success

Chris Woakes with the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy

Chris Silverwood’s personal touch will stand him in good stead as he bids to make England red-ball powerhouses again, according to all-rounder Chris Woakes.

The former England bowling coach was appointed Trevor Bayliss’ successor as England head coach earlier this month with the proviso that Test cricket will be the top priority.

Already, Silverwood has talked a good game having stressed the importance of batting time and bowling with discipline – a shift from the qualities England have utilised in limited overs cricket.

That, of course, bore fruit in a maiden ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup triumph this summer but the 44-year-old Yorkshireman has his sights firmly set on the future and regaining The Ashes down under in 2021.

Warwickshire star Woakes, who worked closely with Silverwood in his former role, has pointed to the new boss’ temperament and people skills as key aspects of the style which will help him thrive in the position.

“I definitely welcome Chris’ focus on red ball cricket. I love Test cricket and we’ve got improvements to make in that format. Hopefully I can be a part of that and keep my place in the team,” Woakes said speaking on his return to Aston Manor CC as part of the ECB’s Winners' World Cup Trophy Tour.

“He’s a great man manager, he treats every individual differently, the way he feels gets the best out of them.

“As a bowling coach he was very good at making sure we worked hard as bowlers and used our time wisely, and made sure we focused on our own game.

“Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the bigger picture and not your own game so much so he made sure we worked hard on our games and I think he’ll take that into the head coach role.

“He keeps it simple, he keeps calm and I think they’re all good attributes to have at the highest level – you want to take pressure off players at international cricket not put it on them and I think he’ll be good at that.”

Woakes will be looking to regain his place in the Test side under Silverwood when England travel to New Zealand after an Ashes series in which he missed out following a gruelling summer.

He will be joined in the squad for the two Test series by a man he knows better than most, his county teammate Dom Sibley.

Opening batsman Sibley was the leading run scorer in Division One of the County Championship in 2019 with 1,324 runs at an average of 69.68.

He will likely make his debut this autumn as England look to fix their problem top order spots and Woakes has backed Sibley to make the big step up from county to international level.

He added: “I certainly hope Dom will take to the international stage well and I don’t see why not.

“His call-up is well deserved, he’s churned out runs for a long period of time now in particular this summer where the ball dominated in county cricket.

“He managed to score a hell of a lot of runs and I think his game is suited to international cricket, we’ve had a few issues at the top of the order so if he comes in and plays he’s got the chance to cement his spot for a long time to come.

“It’s great to have another Warwickshire Bear playing for England with me so I hope he scores runs.”

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