Chester-le-Street - Chris Woakes will
replace the injured Ben Stokes in England's side for the second Test against
Sri Lanka, skipper Alastair Cook said on Thursday.
Durham all-rounder Stokes had already been
ruled out of the match at his Chester-le-Street home ground starting on Friday
after suffering a knee injury during England's crushing innings and 88-run win in
the first of a three-match series at Headingley last week.
Warwickshire's Woakes, a similar player in
that he is a pace-bowling all-rounder, comes into the side in the only change
to the England team that won inside three days at Yorkshire's headquarters last
week after seeing off a challenge from uncapped Nottinghamshire seamer Jake
Ball, who once again was kept waiting for a Test debut.
Cook, speaking to reporters at a rainy
Chester-le-Street on Thursday, said England's batting order would be adjusted
slightly with Jonny Bairstow, who made 140 batting at seven at Headingley,
moving up to number six and Moeen Ali promoted to number seven with Woakes in
This will be the 27-year-old Woakes's
He marked his inclusion in the squad on
Monday by taking a first-class best nine for 36 for Warwickshire against Durham
at Edgbaston and earlier this month he scored a hundred in the County
"Chris Woakes is going to come in for
Ben Stokes," said Cook.
"He's going to bat at eight, Jonny and
Mo are going to push up."
Asked why Woakes had been chosen ahead of
Ball, Cook said: "We enjoyed playing with the balance of this side."
Woakes has had a stop-start Test career
since making his debut in 2013 and only averages 21 with the bat and an
expensive 63 with the ball.
"This gives Chris another opportunity
to play for England. I don't think we've seen the best of him yet in an England
shirt," said Cook.
"But he's in fine form for
Warwickshire - a nine-for and a hundred in the last two weeks.
"It's disappointing for Ben... He's
got that ability to win or change games of cricket very quickly.
"But injuries are part and parcel of a
side and we need to learn how to play without him."
For all that England won convincingly, they
were 83 for five before Bairstow and opener Alex Hales, with a Test-best 86,
turned the innings around.
"It was tough conditions," said
Cook. "One false shot and you were out. The way Alex and Jonny played was
"A few of us could do with a
score," added opener Cook, still 20 runs shy of becoming the first
Englishman to score 10 000 runs in Tests.
Nick Compton, out for a duck at Headingley,
has spoken openly of how he feels under pressure for his place after a modest
tour of South Africa following 85 in the series opener at Durban.
"It's quite refreshing that he's come
out and said it in one way," said Cook.
"You're always under pressure when
you're playing for England.
"He played some good innings in South
Africa, certainly at the start of the tour - that 80-odd, he battled hard and
set up a good win. And he's scored two (Test) hundreds already. So he can play
at this level.
"Like all of us, he's only a score
away, and he needs a score, but he's in a really good place to do that."