Woakes replaces injured Anderson

2015-12-25 20:38
Chris Woakes (File)

Durban - England captain Alastair Cook confirmed on Friday that Chris Woakes will replace the injured James Anderson for the Boxing Day Test against South Africa in Durban.

Woakes, 26, will play his first Test match since August 2014 after being recalled in place of Anderson who was ruled out of the opener of the four-match series with a calf injury.

"Chris is going to play. I think anyone who's seen practice over the last 24 hours will have seen we've concentrated mainly on the 11 so it's no surprise really," Cook told reporters on his 31st birthday.

"What an opportunity it is for him to play. It gives up great depth in our batting and he's been around the side for a long time and now he's got an opportunity."

However, Cook conceded the loss of Anderson was a sizeable blow, with England unwilling to take any chances with their record wicket-taker.

"Of course it's a huge loss. When you take out (426) wickets and 110 games... of experience it's going to be a big loss, of course it is. But we can't do anything about that," Cook said.

"As always you try to look on the positive side and not let anything get you down really about it. He's more disappointed than anyone else but it gives Chris a great opportunity."

Alex Hales, 26, is set to make his Test debut at the top of the order alongside Cook, becoming the England skipper's eighth different opening partner since 2012.

"He's ready to play he's waited for his chance and earned his right to selection. He's been around the squad in the UAE, he knows what it's about," Cook said, when asked about Hales.

"He's got a Twenty20 international hundred and a one-day hundred so he can certainly play and I hope he's looking forward to the challenge and showing people what he can do."

Read more on:    england  |  proteas  |  chris woakes  |  durban  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.