County cricket: Warwickshire's Chris Woakes sets sights on England
Chris Woakes is aiming to stake a serious claim for Test honours when Warwickshire begin their Division One campaign.
By Joe Drabble - @SkySportsDrabs
Last Updated: 08/04/14 5:59pm
Hoping to add to his one Test cap to-date, Woakes gave the national selectors a timely reminder of his all-round quality by captaining the Lions to a 1-0 series victory over Sri Lanka A in an unofficial three-match series.
The 25-year-old led from the front with both bat and ball, scoring 275 runs and taking eight wickets and is now hoping to transfer that form to the cooler climes of the west midlands, as Warwickshire prepare for a title tilt.
He told Sky Sports: "It's been a pretty busy winter. I've been here, there and everywhere, racked up the air-miles and I'm looking forward to the new county season.
"It was a really good tour. It was a great challenge to captain the side. I've never done that much before at professional level - I thought it went really well and for me to get runs and wickets was really nice. I feel like I'm in decent nick and I'm ready for the summer ahead.
Up for grabs
"It wasn't an easy place to go - Sri Lanka were a tough outfit and the boys played really well and for us to win and for me to do well personally in the sub-continent was a bonus - I feel like my game went from strength to strength."
Woakes was a surprise inclusion in the England Test party for the final Test of last summer's Ashes series at The Oval, with his call-up criticised by many former players.
But, starting in Birmingham against Sussex on Sunday, Woakes believes he has another opportunity to play his way into Test contention.
"There's potentially a few places up for grabs in the England side so the first five-six weeks of the season are going to be pretty interesting," he added.
"If I perform well and am in the selectors' mind come the first squad selection it would be nice. County cricket is going to be really strong, full of international players so I'm excited and hopefully I can start well."
Speaking on Warwickshire's chances this summer, Woakes said: "We struggled last year with injuries which wasn't great and we need to improve in the one-day and T20 cricket. I think we've got a great chance in the four-day game, we did well to finish fourth last year and I think we can push hard this year."
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