England v India: Chris Woakes says return 'well worth the wait'

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Chris Woakes stated that his 4-55 was well worth the wait as he returned to England's Test team against India after more then a year.

Through a combination injury, rest and isolation, the all-rounder hadn't played Tests since August 2020.

Woakes was instrumental in bowling India out for 191 on the first day of the fourth Test at Kia Oval. England scored 53-3 the next day.

It was a great experience. It was wonderful to be back in whites. He said that it felt like it had been a long time coming.

"I would have grabbed your hands for 4-55 at dawn."

Woakes' excellent home summer included a match-winning performance at Emirates Old Trafford against Pakistan in the first Test.

He missed 11 Tests consecutively after the last Test against Pakistan at Ageas Bowl.

He traveled to South Africa, Sri Lanka, and India over the winter with England without playing any Test cricket or limited-overs.

He was adjudged to be a close friend of Moeen Ali. Moeen contracted Covid-19 from Sri Lanka so he spent some time in isolation. Then he was either not selected for the rest of the winter or rested.

Woakes was also restrained for the two-Test series against New Zealand, at the beginning of England's summer at home. He suffered a freak injury to his heel while slipping down the stairs at home and missed the first three Tests in the India series.

He said, "I have been desperate to play again cricket."

It's been both up and down. "I was in Test squads during the winter but didn't get the nod. After being involved in isolated incidents, I was unable to continue my studies.

"It was worth the wait to get out today and bowl for England.

England beat India in less than two sessions, thanks to Woakes' wickets and Ollie Robinson's 338.

Joe Root, England captain, said Woakes had a "nightmare", but Woakes stated: "There are people who have had a much worse 18 months than me."

"I feel like I've missed something by not taking advantage of last year's success and not playing as much cricket as I did, which makes me feel as if I'm missing out.

"At the end of the day, I'm always thankful to be on the side and show my potential."

England was 6-2 down in their reply. Root lost late in the day, closing on 53-3. England is 138 runs behind.

Woakes stated that "We still feel like our bats can bat well tomorrow, hopefully getting a good lead, and put the pressure back onto them."

"Tomorrow will be a significant day for us. "I'd love to believe we're on top."