England’s All-rounders: How good are they?


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England’s pacers ruthlessly dismantled India in the 2nd Test at Lord’s to claim victory by an innings and 159 runs. The hosts went 2-0 up in the 5-match series. In another stellar performance by England, the focus comes on the all-rounders the team possesses.
If Ben Stokes was brilliant at Edgbaston, then Chris Woakes came as the knight in shining armour at Lord’s.
It was a performance that deserves plaudits by this England side. Stuart Broad (4/44) and James Anderson (4/23) were in magnificent form, as they produced a masterclass in seam and swing to which India’s batsmen had no answer.
Anderson, in particular, was the chief architect of the victory with nine wickets to his name in the match.
Besides him, it was the 29-year-old Woakes, who contributed with both bat and ball immensely. With Ben Stokes out for a hearing, Woakes came in and filled in the former’s shoes particularly well. Young Sam Curran was once again there to put in a show especially with the bat.
One must wonder the abundance of all-rounders England has in this Test set-up. The question arises, how brilliant are England’s all-rounders? Very few teams have players such as Woakes and Stokes in the modern day game which highlights the advantage England are in with.


Though it is almost impossible to replace Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes ensured Ben Stokes was not missed much (Image: The Times)

Chris Woakes had a similar effect like Ben Stokes had in the first test of ongoing India’s tour of England 2018. The all-rounder picked up 2/19 in the first innings that included the wicket of Virat Kohli. Like the duo of Anderson and Broad, he used the conditions well and got the ball to do the talking to make the life of batsmen difficult.
His inward ball to Kohli swung late and made the Indian skipper poke at the ball. Woakes made a return to the side after battling with an injury off late after the IPL 2018. And this was indeed a special way to mark his turn in the team at a venue like Lord’s.
In the 2nd innings, Woakes once again got Hardik Pandya – this time the Indian player was trapped LBW. He also rounded off the proceedings with Ishant’s wicket. In the first Test, Stokes had finished it off in style. There were similarities in level between the two.

Woakes scripts piece of history at Lord’s

They say dreams do come true when you work hard towards accomplishing them. And Woakes went on to fulfill his boyhood dream of raising his bat to a standing ovation at Lord’s, cricket’s most iconic ground.
Woakes came at the crease when England was reeling at 131/5 on Day 3.
The promising middle-order batsman then added a 189-run stand with Jonny Bairstow (93) to take the game away from the jaded visitors, who sank further deep into a hole. Woakes remained unbeaten on 137  in England’s first innings. He was important for England to stick around with Sam Curran (40) and extend the hosts’ first-innings lead to 289.
The player slammed his maiden Test ton and what a way to bring that up. With this century, Woakes now finds his name thrice on Honors Board at this venue.
He has a five-for, ten-for and a ton at Lord’s. These boards commemorate cricketers, who excel in the Test matches played at this ground. Lord’s is in a space of its own and to etch your name on these boards is a dream of every cricketer.

How crucial are Stokes and Woakes

Woakes and Stokes
The duo of Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes would be crucial for England (image: abc.net.au)

England needs these two blokes to hang in there and work consistently. With the Ashes next year at home, one will be wondering how effective the duo can be. The manner in which he stood up tells us about the depth England enjoy in terms of their all-round support.
Both Stokes and Woakes are excellent pace bowlers and have the knack of picking wickets. They are brilliant fielders as well and contribute in that middle-order with the bat.
Not many sides can boast about this attribute. It’s kinda special to watch both of these players coming out and making the difference when it mattered most. Stokes was by far England’s hero at Edgbaston and Woakes now carried on that work at Lord’s.
A look at Stokes and Woakes’ batting in Test cricket.

Matches Runs Best Average
Ben Stokes 43 2606 258 34.28
Chris Woakes 25 1000 137* 32.25

A look at Stokes and Woakes’ bowling in Test cricket.

Matches Wickets Best Econ
Ben Stokes 43 104 6/22 3.35
Chris Woakes 25 68 6/70 3.10

Curran too following their footsteps

Sam Curran has played a crucial part in the series (Image: SkySports)

Sam Curran was the best player for England in the first Test and the youngster played a crucial role at Lord’s as well. He chipped in with a valuable 40-run knock at Lord’s which helped England get to 396/7. He looks like a real deal in this England side.
These sort of contributions really stand out and Curran could learn from Stokes and Woakes and make a lot of ground in Test cricket. Earlier, the 20-year-old ran riot and picked 4 wickets in the first innings at Edgbaston, that included a fiery spell where he took 3 important scalps.
His best moment came when in the 2nd innings he hit a commanding 63-run knock after England were reeling at 87/7. Those runs made the difference in the end and helped England win the match by 31 runs.


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