o be on our team in Venezuela, but things happen for a reason. I

#1 von dasg234 , 29.12.2017 11:40

Whatever happens in the final stages of this game - and it is has lived up to all the pre-match hopes - England may look back upon the Lords Test as a coming of age moment for Chris Woakes.It is not just that Woakes has taken five-wicket hauls in both innings. Or that he has become just the third England player (after Ian Botham in 1978 and Stuart Broad in 2012) to earn his way on to the Lords honours board for a 10-wicket haul in the last 40 years.It was that, in every spell, he has looked Englands most dangerous bowler. He has gained more lateral movement than any bowler in the match, he has bowled with hostility, skill and control and emerged as his captains first-choice option when he required either a wicket or control.Ashley Giles, Warwickshires director of cricket at the time, once remarked that he wished he could clone Woakes and select a team full of such characters. While Giles was, of course, joking - the boys at Bluffborough can put down their test tubes - you can see what he means: Woakes is low-maintenance, low-ego, hard-working, skilful and fit and willing to bowl or bat all day.As cricket writer Vithushan Ehantharajah memorably put it: when you were a teenager, Woakes was the sort of guy you would tell your parents you were going to stay with so they didnt worry about you going to a house party at Alex Hales house. While Ben Stokes gives the impression that you might not want to knock over his pint in a pub, Woakes gives the impression that, should you knock over his, he would apologise to you, offer to clean up the mess and buy a round for everyone involved.It could be that Woakes modesty - he made a point, quite rightly, of praising the contribution of his bowling colleagues for building pressure in Pakistans second innings in an interview with Sky immediately after play - is sometimes mistaken for diffidence. But just as Jos Buttler has shown that, beneath the soft voice and good manners there is a character that longs for the heat of battle, so Woakes is starting to show that he thrives under pressure. The unbeaten 95 to help England to a tie against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge a few weeks ago showed both character and calmness and has given him the confidence to know that he belongs at this level.As that confidence has grown, so has his preparedness to use the tricks he has at his disposal. So, in the first innings, Wahab Riaz was bowled by an inswinger that Woakes has, at times, felt risked giving away runs, and, in the second innings, Asad Shafiq (who looks the most technically correct batsman in the match) was deceived by one delivered wider on the crease. He is running in quicker, he is batting and bowling with more conviction. He may never be quite the bowler James Anderson has developed into, but you can be very good without being that good.It was Woakes composure, as much as his swing, that first impressed when he emerged at Warwickshire. Coming into a dressing room deeply divided between the older players and a coach who many of them despised (the unfortunate Mark Greatbatch), Woakes kept his head down and simply got on with his job.Whether confronted by triumph - as a 19-year-old he finished the 2008 season with 45 first-class wicket at 20.48 apiece - or disaster - two head-high no-balls saw him removed from the attack and went a long way towards Warwickshire losing a T20 quarter-final against Kent in the same season - he reacted with a shrug, a smile and by vowing to work harder and be better. While still a teenager, he had emerged into the leader of the Warwickshire attack: a swing-bowler who set up batsmen with his outswing and dismissed them with his inswing. He was, people said, the inheritor of Dougie Browns position.But he has turned out to be better than that. Woakes may well be the natural inheritor of Andersons position. While other bowlers - notably Steven Finn - are hit-the-deck seamers, Woakes remains at heart a swing bowler but he has had to learn, just as Anderson did, other skills - notably the extra pace, but also the level of control that applied huge pressure on Pakistan in the afternoon session here - to survive at this level.Test pitches, especially Test pitches overseas, rarely offer the sort of assistance he might find at Edgbaston. So he learned to bowl a sharp short ball and he learned that, beating a batsman with swing is little use if they never have to play at the ball outside off stump because it is only a matter of time before the loose ball on the legs arrives. His control here has been close to immaculate and Graeme Welch, the former bowling coach at Warwickshire, could be forgiven for feeling some satisfaction at seeing the work he put into Woakes action - not least, using his front arm more and running in harder - paying dividends.By the time Woakes came on to bowl in the second innings, the game was slipping away from England. Their batsmen had squandered the opportunity to set a match-defining total (Woakes reasoned they were 100 short of par; it may be more like 200) and after Mohammad Hafeez had departed early, Pakistan appeared to be building an impregnable position.But he conceded just 15 in his 10-over spell split by the interval, taking two wickets in the process, as he combined all those attributes - pace, swing and control - in a spell that would have made Anderson proud. It does not, for a moment, mean that Anderson is about to be dropped. But it does mean there is no need to rush him back before he has proved his fitness beyond reasonable doubt and it does offer hope for Englands future once Anderson bows to the inevitable demands of Time. Anderson, who has rated Woakes for some time and been generous both in praise and his preparedness to share his advice, will delight in this emergence more than most.Lets be clear: this pitch offers, at this stage at least, bowlers very little. While some may wake-up on the other side of the world, glance at the scorecard and presume that Woakes is the beneficiary of a typically green, English pitch, this wicket has been slow, low and offered almost nothing off the seam. While Woakes has swung the ball both ways in both innings, bowlers as skilful as Mohammad Amir and Stuart Broad have struggled to gain any movement.Woakes has been widely respected by his fellow professionals for a long time, but it has taken a while to see the best of at this level. Selected for Englands limited-overs team back in 2011 when he had skills far more suited to the red ball than the white - he was, at the time, a medium-fast swing bowler without a notable yorker or bouncer - he was unfortunate to play his first Test (the final Ashes encounter of the summer of 2013) on an excellent batting surface and then struggled to force his way back into the side.While he impressed during the India series of 2014, he was always an understudy to Anderson and Broad and was generally required to fulfil the unglamorous holding role with an old ball. He endured a poor game in Centurion - maybe he was anxious, maybe he had lost rhythm after almost a month of just bowling in the nets - and it seemed that some England supporters had lost patience with him.He might not have played this summer had Ben Stokes not sustained a knee injury during the Headingley Test against Sri Lanka. But that mishap and nine wickets in an innings against Durham in late May won him a recall. And now, for the fifth time this summer, he has achieved Test-best figures. Both with bat and ball, he is growing in stature by the match. Right now, he has a better Test bowling average than Amir, Broad and Anderson.Some may point to the similarities between Woakes and Stokes and wonder if they are in competition with one another for a place. They arent, really. Stokes, certainly the better batsman, may never offer the consistency of Woakes, but he is, in the field, with the bat and with the ball (remember the Trent Bridge Ashes Test in 2015?) capable of doing things others are not. Worrying about what to do with two such allrounders is like worrying about having too much money.An England team with both of them - and Moeen Ali or Adil Rashid, too - has enviable all-round depth. Such all-round depth that picking a specialist keeper becomes a realistic option. Had Jonny Bairstows drop of Sarfraz Ahmed on 37 been a one-off it would be possible to ignore it. But it keeps happening. And for Finn, who bowled a much-improved spell, it was heartbreakingly unfortunate.England have their work cut out to win this. Bearing in mind how poorly they played Yasir Shah in the first innings and some evidence of uneven bounce on day three, a target of 300 is likely to prove hugely testing.But this has been the classic, fluctuating, engrossing match for which we all hoped. Theres no reason to think the ending wont be just as entertaining. Cheap Kurt Warner Jersey . Schenn scored the game-winning goal and added two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday. Cheap Arizona Cardinals Jerseys China . 8 Iowa State on Saturday, sending the Cyclones to their third consecutive loss. The Longhorns (14-4, 3-2) got their biggest win of the season with their third in the row in the Big 12. http://www.cheaparizonacardinalsjerseysauthentic.com/ . -- The proud fathers huddled near the Dallas Stars dressing room, smiling, laughing and telling stories while wearing replica green sweaters of their sons team. Cheap Larry Fitzgerald Jersey . The Swede became the first golfer to win the PGA Tours FedEx Cup and European Tours Race to Dubai in the same season. "It is still taking a little time to sink in what Ive achieved this week as was the case when I won the FedEx Cup but then it just kept getting better and better as the days went on and I am sure this will be the same," he said. Cheap Arizona Cardinals Jerseys . A statement from the worlds top-ranked player says all checks "were satisfactory and showed positive evolution" regarding the injury, which contributed to his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final in Melbourne. Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder David Peralta likely will not play in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for Venezuela as he recovers from wrist surgery, he said Tuesday.I was really looking forward to that, at least to be a backup outfielder, Peralta told the Arizona Republic. I just wanted to be a part of that experience, with all the superstars that are going to be on our team in Venezuela, but things happen for a reason. I have to concentrate on getting better and recovering fast so I can help the team and be ready for next year.The 29-year-old Peraltta, who is on the 60-day DL after having surgery in August to move a tendon in his wrist, instead hopes to be ready for spring training.ddddddddddddHe had three stints on the DL this season and played only 48 games, with just four home runs and 15 RBIs. In 2015, Peralta hit .292 with 29 home runs and 129 RBIs.You use your hands to hit, Peralta told the paper. If something is wrong with your hands, its impossible to execute. 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Janovich injured a shoulder.---AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.o
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