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Hard work paying dividends

Posted in England Performance Programme

Chris Woakes

I have been working on my action with Richard Johnson

We haven't had much time off since arriving in Australia so it was nice to have a free afternoon as a reward for battering Western Australia A on Friday.

They had some decent players but we rolled them for 98 and knocked them off easily.

I was really pleased with my 3-23 which got the ball rolling. I felt as if I was bowling at a decent pace which is partly down to the work I have been doing on my action with Richard Johnson.

It's just a minor adjustment - I'm pulling down my front arm harder to unlock some speed - but it hasn't been easy. I have not tweaked anything with my action since I was 11 so it feels a little strange. Sometimes a delivery will feel brilliant, then another time I will be completely out of sync.

It's coming along gradually and I'm looking forward to seeing if there have been any improvements when we play a four-day game against Western Australia A on Tuesday. It can be difficult trying things in competitive games as you tend to slip into your old routines, but hopefully I will use my new action.

The whole point of this tour is to work on my game and make me a better cricketer. I'm all for improving me as a player. I'm really enjoying it in Australia. It's my first time here. The days have been long and the training is hard but that's why we are here.

Danny Briggs took 4-9 in our win - those aren't bad figures I suppose. He bowled really well and is a promising young cricketer. Their batsmen just could not handle his arm ball.

Kiesy (Craig Kieswetter) looks in great nick at the moment. He's striking the ball really well and his 51 off 30 balls shows how destructive he can be at the top of the order. We all know what he can do. He's worked really hard on his game, not just on his batting but his keeping too.

Perth was roasting when we arrived last week. It was 37 degrees when we got off the plane. It was like that for a few days but has since got cooler, which makes training easier. It's in the mid-20s at the moment with some cloud. It's a different type of heat to Brisbane. It's not so humid.

I'm in an apartment with Kiesy, Pudsey (Liam Plunkett) and Jade (Dernbach). We all get on really well. I room with Kiesy - he's more obsessed with cleaning than my missus. He's not quite at OCD level but he's definitely close.

We are about five minutes from the harbour so most evenings we walk there for some food before coming back to play on the Playstation. We have an HD projector screen on the wall - it's massive.

We normally play Call of Duty or FIFA. There is always lots of banter flying about when we play. Kiesy is a bit of a geek when it comes to Playstation. He clearly sits at home and plays it every night. Puds is pretty good while Jade needs a bit of work on his FIFA.

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