Chris Woakes would like nothing more than to cap his England Test return alongside Warwickshire teammate Olly Stone.
Both Woakes and Stone were named in the 16-man Test squad to tour the Caribbean in January and February, and Woakes has his eyes fixed firmly on starting the first Test against the West Indies in Barbados.
The Warwickshire pair shone in England’s 3-0 ODI whitewash against Sri Lanka to end 2018 on a high, but were left in the pavilion as spin came to the fore in the Test series.
And Woakes explained how he was eager to get back in the mix after a 2018 that saw him get on the Lord’s honours board.
“I’m really excited by the West Indies tour,” Woakes told BirminghamMail.co.uk.
“England were never going to play four seamers and a spinner in the Tests in Sri Lanka and unfortunately it was Olly and me that missed out, but it was still a great tour to be part of. It was fantastic to see Olly bedding into international cricket so well – and great to have another Bear out there.
“Conditions will be different in the West Indies. Pitches over there can favour spin too but not to the same degree. I’m desperate to get my Test place back and it would be fantastic if Olly makes his debut. With his pace I think he could be a potent weapon.”
Woakes has never played a Test in the West Indies, but he explained he hoped he and Stone could beat competition from Sam Curran and the option of a second spinner in Adil Rashid or Jack Leach.
“It won’t be easy to get in the Test side because the competition is very strong but hopefully me and Olly can force our way in.”
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