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Postcard from India: Chris Woakes in the IPL

England all-rounder and Kolkata Knight Riders signing Chris Woakes reports back on the start of his 2017 IPL stint.

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Postcard from India: Chris Woakes in the IPL

Chris Woakes in One-Day International action for England

“I’ve been in India for 10 days now and it’s been great fun – despite Jos ramping me for six the other night!

You can tell the IPL is a huge tournament. All the best players are here, there’s a lot of glitz and glamour, photoshoots, ads on TV – the whole nation is crazy about it and I’m glad to be involved.

It has been total carnage since the games started.

Our first game, last Friday, against Jason Roy and Gujarat Lions was a ridiculous win.

They made 183 for four, which I thought was 15 or 20 too many but Chris Lynn and Gautam Gambhir proved me wrong and we won by 10 wickets with five overs to spare. They were incredible.

Lynn doesn’t hold back and swings hard. We had a practice game last week and he hit my first ball for six. It went miles! You don’t realise how good these guys are until you see them in the flesh.

“Turning up at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday was a phenomenal experience – it was rammed, it was noisy and all of them were supporting Mumbai Indians.”

Chris Woakes

Turning up at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday was a phenomenal experience – it was rammed, it was noisy and all of them were supporting Mumbai Indians. It was an atmosphere I’ve not experienced anywhere else. It’s amazing that that sort of environment can be created for a cricket match.

It was disappointing to lose with a ball remaining as I thought we could have won it from the position we were in.

I enjoyed my battle with Jos [Buttler] even though he probably came out on top. I knew he was going to get his ramp shot out so I was trying to hide the ball outside off stump. Unfortunately he ramped the one ball I didn’t get right for six.

You have to admire how good those shots are. If you execute your skill as a bowler but the batsman does his slightly better then you have to doff your cap.

It’s a game of bluff and double bluff. You are trying to second guess him but also concentrate on your game. You know their strengths so you want to stay away from those. These guys are so good they don’t have any weaknesses.

Jos did the same to Stokesy the other night but I wonder if he’ll be ramping Tymal [Mills] on Wednesday?

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It’s been a little strange playing against the England boys as we are genuine mates. We are all good friends so there are subplots when we play each other.

We all get on really well and have been messaging each other since we arrived and catch up after the games. Every team we play has an England player involved and on Thursday I’ll be facing Morgs.

It’s our first home game and I’m excited about playing at Eden Gardens. Home games are supposed to be incredible occasions – the fans turn the stadium purple.

I’m really looking forward to that and hopefully we can make it two wins from three.”

 

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