LEEDS, England (AP) England allrounder Chris Woakes will stake a claim for a starting spot in the upcoming Ashes series when he returns to the team for the second test against West Indies starting Friday.
England captain Joe Root said Thursday that Woakes, who is fit again after a side strain sustained during the Champions Trophy in June, will replace Toby Roland-Jones in the only change from the innings-and-209-run win in the first test.
Roland-Jones took 14 wickets in his first three internationals, including a five-wicket haul against South Africa, and Root said the seamer ”has not done a lot wrong.”
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”I see him playing a massive part for us moving forward,” Root said, ”but it’s a great chance for Chris now to come back into the side and show his class like he did last year.”
Woakes was a key component of England’s test side last year, finishing 2016 with 41 wickets at 25.41. However, he has fierce competition for his place ahead of the Ashes following the emergence of Roland-Jones.
There was a big gulf between England and West Indies in the day-night test at Edgbaston last week and the hosts are favored to clinch the series by winning at Headingley. The final test is at Lord’s next month.