Woakes wants England to be positive in Pakistan victory charge


  • Cricket
  • Saturday, 08 Aug 2020

Cricket - First Test - England v Pakistan - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - August 7, 2020 England's Chris Woakes celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Azhar Ali, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Lee Smith/Pool

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Seamer Chris Woakes admits England need quick wickets on the fourth morning and then positivity in chasing down their victory target to win the first test against Pakistan at Old Trafford.

The visitors are ahead in the game with an overall lead of 244 having gone to stumps on 137 for eight in their second innings, a score that illustrates the wearing nature of a wicket on which England will have to bat last.

"When you lose the toss on a surface like this you are always going to be up against it, especially if there is a first innings deficit," Woakes told reporters at the close of the third day.

"At the same time, we have given ourselves a chance. They are not completely away from us, and we feel we can get them, even if we do still have to pick up two wickets in the morning."

Only once before have more runs been successfully chased in 81 previous tests at Old Trafford, when England managed 294 for four against New Zealand in 2008.

But they were not up against a wily seam attack of the quality of Pakistan, or the twin leg-spin threat of Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan, who between them took 6-79 in the England first innings and will get even greater assistance second time around.

Whatever England do chase, Woakes believes they will need to be aggressive with the bat.

"We have got to come out and try and be positive. If you look to sit in on this wicket, especially against the spin, there will be one with your name on it.

"It will be a challenge. We have to try and knock them over without them building any sort of partnership (in the morning). It is an exciting day ahead."

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

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