Woakes takes pride from Lions prowl
Chris Woakes has spoken of the positive impact playing for England Lions has had on his career.
Woakes, who has broken into the senior England limited-overs side during the current tour of Australia, benefited from 14 Lions appearances in the last two years.
The 21-year-old all-rounder has underlined the importance that experience had on developing him into a full international.
“Lions cricket prepares you well; it allows you to play against some ex-internationals and current internationals,” he told ecb.co.uk/video.
“The set-up is the quality throughout the whole side, especially when playing a quality one-day side like Australia the margins for error are much smaller than they are in county or Lions cricket and its high intensity.”
Woakes first played for the Lions in April 2009 before touring the United Arab Emirates with them last February.
This winter the Warwickshire youngster was called up to the senior limited-overs squad.
He played in both Twenty20 internationals against Australia and made his one-day international debut against the same opponents on Sunday.
“I didn't think I would play as much as I have. My aim at the start was to play one game but to play three is a huge achievement,” he explained.
Woakes made a significant impact on his England debut two weeks ago in Adelaide, scoring 19 not out and hitting the winning run, and he said making it into the one-day side is another big achievement.
“Making my ODI debut was another huge moment for me after making my T20 debut, you always dream of playing for England from a young lad,” he added.
“Getting a wicket in my first over really helped settle the nerves and getting (Michael) Clarke out will stay with me for a long time. But it would have been nice to win.”
Despite that loss, Woakes was positive about how the tour is going for him.
“I’m really enjoying the tour, intensity of training and playing goes up another level but that's what you expect on the international stage,” he said.
“It has given me a taste of what I want to do in the future, and hopefully this is a stepping stone for the rest of my career.”
Although England beat Australia comfortably in the Ashes, they have had a poor run since and are currently 3-0 down in the seven-game series.
The tourists are in Adelaide for the fourth ODI tomorrow and Woakes is confident that they can turn their fortunes around.
“If we win on Wednesday it will swing a bit of momentum our way, and then you never know. There is no better place to do it than in Australia on Australia Day,” he concluded.