Chris Woakes urges England to be quick off the blocks against 'always competitive' Pakistan

Faizan Lakhani
Chris Woakes does not want England to play catch up against Pakistan.

England fast bowler Chris Woakes wants his side to be quick off the blocks in the upcoming Test series against Pakistan instead of plotting come-from-behind wins, which he says may look good looking back but isn't the ideal way to go about their business.

Woakes and company, in their latest Test series against the West Indies, showed all of their lockdown rust, losing the first Test before mounting a comeback and clinching the series 2-1.

“We've done that (coming from behind to win the series) quite a lot in the past. I think we'd rather win the first Test [against Pakistan]," Woakes told media via video conference from Manchester.

“It does show good character. It shows, I suppose, that we've got the grit within the dressing room to come from behind. But as I said, I think we'd like to get our foot in the door and start series a little bit better and not have to come from behind.

Pakistan have not played competitive cricket in months but that does not mean Wokaes expect the tourists to be an easy match-up.

“They've got good experience and some exciting new players as they always do. They have exciting fast bowlers as well so we know that they're going to be a tough challenge and we've played them enough. They are always a challenge and always competitive,” he said.

“But we always look at any opposition and say there is going to be hard work and we know we're going to have to be at best. We do our homework as best as we can, analyse as much as we can, and then try and go out and do the business."

Woakes admitted thought that England have an advantage against Pakistan as the visiting side last played Test cricket in February.

“I think we saw at the beginning of the West Indies series that we were probably a little bit under-prepared but, you know, as I said, the Pakistan team is a dangerous team and we will have to be on top from the first ball,” the Englishman said.

The home side could also have another edge as they were given several days off following the West Indies series to finally get out of the bio-secure bubble and be with their families.

“It was really nice to get to home and have some normality for four or five days. I think everyone has really enjoyed their little break. And it was needed to be honest. I think we had a long stint in the bubble, five weeks or whatever it is, just as much as we all get along," Woakes said. 

"I think that that time away from each other is very important step. But more importantly, we get to see our family and friends back home, which obviously, you know, been in this environment is completely different.” 

The first Test starts Wednesday at Old Trafford, Manchester.

He explained that being in a bubble was almost a case of living, sleeping, breathing cricket 24/7.

“Whenever you wake up or you have an hour off or whatever it is, you're constantly looking at the green field, which makes it a little tricky but we've got used to it,” he said.

Chris Woakes urges England to be quick off the blocks against 'always compet