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Woakes eyes England return in day-night Test

271   //    05 Aug 2017, 21:25 IST
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England bowler Chris Woakes

Chris Woakes has set his sights on being part of England's historic day-night Test with West Indies as he prepares to make his return from injury in the County Championship.

The all-rounder has been sidelined since the Champions Trophy opener with Bangladesh in June after suffering a side strain while bowling, with scans revealing a nine centimetre tear.

After two months out the 28-year-old, who has 48 wickets in 17 Tests since his 2013 debut, is ready to return with Warwickshire, and he hopes to play himself back into form ahead of the floodlit Test at his home ground on August 17.

"I feel I'm as close as I can be to full speed now," Woakes told the Observer.

"The prestige and history of the first day-night Test at my home ground means I'm desperate to prove my fitness but I really have to focus on this week. 

"If I can get plenty of overs under my belt then hopefully I'm in the frame for selection. But I can't say for definite now.

"The recovery time for a side strain is usually six weeks but the scans showed a nine centimetre tear on my internal oblique muscle. 

"Coughing and sneezing was still hurting three weeks later, which just shows how bad it was, and having hayfever didn't help me one bit."

Woakes' place in the England side has since been taken by Toby Roland-Jones, the seamer taking eight wickets on his Test debut against South Africa last week and Woakes knows getting his spot back is by no means guaranteed.

"It's great for Toby to come in and get wickets and great for English cricket too - it's important guys do well and give us depth," he added. 

"But injuries are part of being a fast bowler and you're never going to just walk back into an England side."

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