Chris ‘Composure’ Woakes

What a debut from Chris Woakes today. As a biased Warwickshire fan, I always thought he would eventually hold his own in the England team, but not this soon, to get off to a start like this was amazing.

On debut he took the new ball, came out to bat ahead of Graeme Swann to face down a hat-trick ball, smacked Shaun Tait for 6 after getting verbals and then just for good measure he got England home. It was exceptional stuff.

Ajmal Shahzad also deserves credit in my book as he didn’t panic when he couldn’t get Shane Watson away in the final over, for two young men of such inexperience to get England home like this bodes well for the future.

There are negatives and positives here for England though. We should have won this far more easily than we did, if Eoin Morgan fails to finish the job, you sometimes wonder just who will. Although we are world champions and world record holders, so we must be doing something right.

The positives are that if the batsmen fail we have lower order players with the talent and temperament to get us home. Also, even without Tremlett, Broad and Anderson we can still put out a team that can win.

Fine margins also got England home today. I know we should have won it easily from 99/3 in the 12th over, but that aside, I believe we won it in the field.

It was obvious in the test series who the strongest side was in the field, it was also obvious who the better disciplined team was as well, just think back to those wickets with the no balls.

In ODI’s and T20 internationals any cricket watcher knows you have to be disciplined and efficient in the field to be the best side. England simply were better again with their catching and their ground fielding and ultimately that won us the match.

A good day for the Bears?

At least I think it is. When I seen the article saying that Warwickshire announced a 12 month post tax profit of £500,000 I thought thats good in the current financial climate.

On closer inspection they actually made a loss of £2.2 Million after disasterous crowds for the test match with Pakistan and the two T20’s between Australia and Pakistan. So to balance the books they have sold some land for £2 Million and deferred a £700,000 tax bill.

As a Warwickshire fan I’m a bit concerned at the need to sell land to balance the books, but not overly worried. Afterall, there are people at the club who know the finances far better than I ever will.

They are projecting a profit of around £200,000 next year when they start repayments for the ground improvements. But what if they have a disaster with next years India test match like they did the Pakistan one, could they find themselves struggling?

Looking in from the outside, the bears look like a well run club to me. I hope it’s not misguided faith, they don’t strike me as an administration that would remortgage the pavilion and all the crown jewels in a reckless gamble.

The struggling counties are all fairly well known and Warwickshire’s name never crops up on that list. Lets hope they stay off it, and for the benefit of English cricket the other counties get their finances sorted out as well.

It is also good to see Chris Woakes in the ODI squads for both the 50 over series and the T20’s against Australia. It would appear that Stuart Broad’s injury has opened the door for Woakes.

Woakes has made steady progress in the Warwickshire side now for a couple of years, it seems clear that Geoff Miller and the selectors have him earmarked as a future England player. He also has the added advantage for modern day bowlers in his ability with the bat.

It’s probably too late for Woakes to get in the world cup squad, I’d say – barring injuries – the selectors already have that sown up. The only other way now would be to put in the kind of performances that make it impossible for him to be dropped.