England pacer Woakes tells bowlers to be aggressive in World Cup

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To bowlers worried at the prospect of running into a rampaging English batting line-up in the World Cup, England pacer Chris Woakes suggests it would be prudent to go in with an attacking mindset.

Be it setting big targets or chasing improbable totals, England seemed to be at ease in recent times.

On Tuesday, the World Cup hosts eased to a challenging victory target of 359 with more than five overs to spare after an opening stand of 159 between Jonny Bairstow (128) and Jason Roy (76).

The bowlers’ toil did not escape Woakes’ eyes.

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“I think you have to try to be aggressive as a bowler or at least have a bit of an aggressive mindset to take wickets, because we all know as bowlers, when you get into that defensive mindset and you are just thinking purely about damage limitation that’s probably when you are at your most vulnerable,” Woakes said after the match.

The fast bowler added, “Always trying to take that attacking approach is probably the best way and if I ever had to bowl at them (England’s top seven), which I probably will do in county cricket at some point, I’d try to get them out — however that is.”

Woakes is certain that bowlers from the visiting teams would do their home work before entering the ICC showpiece.

“They (bowlers from visiting teams) must have been playing the amount of cricket we have as well. They know the white-ball game’ obviously got harder for the bowlers. A lot of players have played in the IPL and things like that — bit of a graveyard for the bowlers.

“I think they know that it’s going to be probably a high-scoring World Cup, particularly at certain grounds, but I don’t think it will be a shock to many people.”

Woakes said his World Cup selection is far from guaranteed following Jofra Archer’s arrival on the international stage. The Barbados-born Archer has the ability to bowl at up to 90 mph and that could see him break his way into hosts’ World Cup team just weeks after he made his debut for the national side.

While Woakes did his own prospects no harm by picking up four wickets for 67 runs in 10 overs in the third ODI here, he had his fingers crossed on selection for World Cup games.

“Safe is probably not the word,” he said.

“But you always feel like you need to put in performances, and I’m pleased I managed to do so.

“You hope you are safe, but I suppose until that squad’s selected you’re not. Hopefully I am, but we will see,” Woakes said.

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