England's bowlers endure tough workout in warm-up against a New Zealand XI

Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes

England seamer Chris Woakes is preparing for a difficult time on flat New Zealand pitches with a ball less helpful to his skillset if he is given the nod in next week's first Test.

It is thought Woakes and Sam Curran are vying to bowl alongside Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Jack Leach in a five-man frontline attack against the Black Caps in Mount Maunganui.

Neither Woakes nor Curran significantly advanced their cause on the second and final day of their drawn warm-up against a New Zealand XI, who responded to England's 376 for five declared with a total of 285 for four.

Curran collected the scalp of Jakob Bhula for 61 but was more expensive than the wicketless Woakes while the standout performance came from Finn Allen, who amassed a classy 129-ball century before retiring out.

Woakes revealed there was not much movement on offer in Whangarei for England's fast bowlers with a ball that softened quickly - and he is expecting that to be a running theme in the two-Test series against the Kiwis.

He said: "It was a reasonable run out. The most important thing is realising what you're going to come up against conditions-wise and also getting overs in the legs for the bowlers.

"It was a pretty flat pitch. A couple nipped with the new ball and after that it hasn't really done much all day.

"You look at it at the start of a game and it was very, very green but if anything it just held it together and made it carry even better.

"I think that's what we're expecting: good surfaces, they'll start green and just get better and better.

"I don't generally see pitches out here that deteriorate too much. It will be hard work with the Kookaburra ball but we'll just have to find a way."

Woakes and Curran ended the Ashes in the England side but only because Stokes' injury to his right shoulder meant he played as a batsman only in the series-levelling win over Australia at The Oval.

Now, Stokes' availability as an all-rounder means England are set to choose between Woakes and Curran, who was originally slated to miss out at the Cobham Oval but was drafted in because of Saqib Mahmood's migraine.

England's initial selection of Woakes and not Curran could be seen as an indication of their preference but the World Cup winner insists he is not thinking like that.

Woakes said: "The make-up of the team is more than likely going to go back to the way it was. I suppose there's one slot there.

"I wouldn't think I'm a nose ahead. I think it's a dangerous place to be as a player, especially when it could go either way.

"It's a call that I'm not going to be able to make but I'll be trying to make it as hard for them as possible by trying to put in performances."

Ahead of England finalising their Test preparations with a three-day practice match at the same venue against a stronger New Zealand A side than the one they have faced over the last couple of days, Woakes accepted Curran being a left armer could prove decisive.

Woakes added: "Potentially, yeah. If they go down that route and that make-up of the team then so be it.

"But it's just up to me to do as much as I can between now and next week to try to knock on the door and put my case forward, that's with bat and ball hopefully."

Related cricket links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our writers combine to pick out Saturday's best betting opportunities, with racing selections from Sandown to Wolverhampton and our take on the Manchester derby.

Marcelo Gallardo after winning the CONMEBOL Recopa Sudamericana 20192

Arsenal must look to Gallardo

Arsenal continue in their hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Unai Emery. Tom Carnduff believes they should appoint Marcelo Gallardo.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Bally a Becher beauty

Matt Brocklebank heads to Aintree on Saturday with Charlie Longsdon backed to win the Becher Chase over the famous Grand National fences.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games5

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Most Read

The Sporting Life team provide their free tips for Saturday's action across a range of sports1

Saturday's Bets of the Day

Our writers combine to pick out Saturday's best betting opportunities, with racing selections from Sandown to Wolverhampton and our take on the Manchester derby.

Marcelo Gallardo after winning the CONMEBOL Recopa Sudamericana 20192

Arsenal must look to Gallardo

Arsenal continue in their hunt for a new manager following the sacking of Unai Emery. Tom Carnduff believes they should appoint Marcelo Gallardo.

Sporting Life's NAP of the day3

Daily Nap: Bally a Becher beauty

Matt Brocklebank heads to Aintree on Saturday with Charlie Longsdon backed to win the Becher Chase over the famous Grand National fences.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview4

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games5

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Racing Tips

Oli Bell highlights his Saturday picks

Oli Bell: Trust Mee

Oli Bell looks ahead to the feature races at Sandown and Aintree on Saturday, with As De Mee fancied over the Grand National fences.

Defi Du Seuil (centre)

Tingle Creek guide: Defi to deliver

All eight stand their ground for Saturday's Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown - check out David Ord's horse-by-horse guide.

Check out the latest in-depth racing preview

Friday's racing preview

Brushwork is Anita Chambers' best bet for Newcastle and she has a tip for every race at every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

Next Race Off

16:50 Aqueduct
1
(1)
Blahnik
J: Benjamin Hernandez
2
(2)
Beauty Buzz
J: Manuel Franco

Football Tips

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

We're back to a full fixture list this weekend meaning the latest Sporting Life Accumulator involves four teams from across the divisions.

The Manchester derby is one of Saturday's games

Saturday's Premier League tips

Mark your card for Saturday's Premier League games with Tom Carnduff providing his best bets and score predictions for each clash.

Our best bets in the Sky Bet EFL

Sky Bet EFL: Weekend preview

We're back to a full round of fixtures following the FA Cup weekend. Tom Carnduff picks out his best bets in the Sky Bet EFL.