Chris Woakes is "very proud" to have reached 100 Test wickets but most important to him this week was that his wickets against West Indies helped England to a vital win to level the series.
England’s win at Emirates Old Trafford set up a decider, starting tomorrow, so there was plenty to celebrate for Bears ace Woakes; a win, his 100th Test wicket and his 500th first-class wicket in the match for good measure.
“It is really pleasing to get to 100 wickets,” he said. “It seems to have been a long time coming when you think I made my Test debut in 2013 and here we are in 2020. I seem to have been close for quite a while but, with missing some winters and not being cemented in the team, it’s taken a bit of time.
“But it is something I am very proud of. If somebody had said to me, as a boy growing up, that I would take 100 Test wickets for England, I would never have believe them.
“It made it extra special that the wickets helped us win the Test. I think if you ask any player what matters most, they will say it’s contributing to a win, and that was a great one to be part of because we were 1-0 down in the series so really needed it.Chris Woakes
“It was good that the three bowlers that came in – Sam Curran, Stuart Broad and myself – all contributed despite not having played much cricket recently.”
Woakes took his 100th Test wicket for England in his 34th Test. Stuart Broad, Ben Stokes and Andrew Flintoff are among those bowlers who required more Tests than that to reach the ton.
“I try not to think too much about stats because they can be deceptive,” said Woakes. “They also don’t tell the whole story – I think Stokesy was already closing in on 3,000 Test runs when he got to 100 wickets. But it’s just an honour to be mentioned in the same sentence as those guys.”
Another player pivotal to England’s win this week was Woakes’s Bears team-mate Dom Sibley whose marathon first innings laid the platform for victory.
“Dom’s innings was fantastic,” Woakes said. “We have some quality batters but just needed a guy who can bat time and provide the glue. Dom has done it brilliantly for Warwickshire, scoring run and runs, and now has shown the quality and mental strength to take that game into Test cricket. He has got some serious mental strength and it was a fantastic 100 which set up the win.”