We were in control - Woakes
Chris Woakes was confident England were always a step ahead of their warm-up opponents today - even before he took two in two, and then Steven Finn ended the match with a hat-trick.
England’s patchy 219 all out owed most to Ravi Bopara’s 73 and Woakes’ 46 not out, yet at 99 for three in reply it seemed the Hyderabad Cricket Association XI had a near even chance of prevailing in this day-night fixture.
It was at that point that Woakes took his two wickets without response, before Finn - who claimed 4-28 - nipped in for the late glory to ensure England got their tour of India off to a winning start - by 56 runs.
“They were building a bit of a partnership at that time, so it was nice to get two wickets in two balls and settle the nerves a bit,” said the Warwickshire seamer, preferred here to Tim Bresnan - who is nonetheless the likely lynchpin of England’s attack in the five one-day internationals.
“But I think we were always quietly confident that we’d come out on top eventually.”
As for England’s showing with the bat, Woakes believes there was plenty of mitigation.
“There were a few special catches, and some good fielding, from their side,” he said. “I don’t think there were too many poor shots, so not too much to worry about.
“It was difficult to adapt to conditions early on. The pitch was a bit two-paced, and it was just a matter of getting yourself in.”
He and Bopara did just that, much to England’s relief after they had lurched to 47 for four.
“We put a decent partnership together, which is what we try to do all down the order, and got us to a decent score in the end,” said Woakes.
“Every time I step on to the park for England, I just want to perform - so it’s nice to contribute with both bat and ball today. If I’m playing the next game, I’ll try to do the same again.”
Woakes, who had limited senior England action in the summer, is not fussy how he is deployed either.
“I’ll slot into the team wherever (team director) Andy (Flower) and the management want me to,” he said. “It’s nice to bat higher up the order if you can, but anywhere I can slot into this team will be good.
“My batting is something I’ve worked on really hard. I’ve still got a bit of work to do - we always try to improve - but I’m pleased with the way it’s going in the right direction. I feel like I showed that today.”
Bowling is still his stronger suit, and Woakes was delighted when he was handed the new ball alongside Finn.
He said: “It’s nice to have the batsman coming at you a bit harder, and the new ball is usually when it does most.
“You have to deal with that and adapt accordingly. Opening the bowling for England is an honour.”
He is also a supporter of the new ODI playing conditions, which stipulate a new ball is used at either end rather than just one - to be changed after 34 overs.
“It’s always nice not having to change the ball, and it seemed to stay in better shape for a bit longer,” he said.
“It’s good for the game, and I’m looking forward to using those new rules in the next few games coming up. I think it’s a good idea.”
There was still time too for England to find some reverse swing with a less worn ball.
“It did start to reverse,” said Woakes. “As we were throwing in from the deep, we were using the rough patches.”