By Nasser Hussain for the Daily Mail
Published: 22:50 BST, 16 September 2020 | Updated: 23:57 BST, 16 September 2020
Even though Australia stole the series at the death, Chris Woakes is a player who came out of it with his head held high.
Woakes is a captain’s dream, the sort of bloke you always want in your team — sometimes we forget just how bloomin’ good he is.
He goes under the radar in every international format because of the people around him: in Test matches, that’s the presence of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, and in limited-overs cricket we are infatuated with the speed of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.
Chris Woakes has proved himself a man for many things but ultimately one for a crisis
Our attention is drawn to Archer roughing up David Warner or Wood coming on first change and hitting 95mph, so we have a tendency to overlook the highly-skilled operator at the other end routinely going at five runs an over.
People forget how talented that Woakes, this ticks-every-box-cricketer, is because he is such a good bloke, such a great competitor, and only too happy to assume a backstage role. But when you need someone to use their skills — to take the pace off the ball and bowl cutters — he’s your man.
In a team meeting the night before a game, the bowlers will be reminded to try to nip the ball back into Aaron Finch from just outside off-stump, and Woakes, 31, is the type of character to deliver that skill time after time.
When he needs to be smart and bang it into the pitch towards the end of the innings, he does so, and when he enters a mini-crisis with the bat, he soaks up pressure.
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