Manchester, Aug 8 (IANS) Right-arm fast bowler Chris Woakes feels England have the players in their arsenal and they just need to bat well to win the first Test against Pakistan at the Old Trafford.
England’s bowlers dragged the hosts back into the game as they reduced Pakistan to 137/8, a lead of 244, at the end of Day Three after giving up a first-innings deficit of 107 on Friday. Woakes returned impressive figures of 2-11.
“It’s an exciting Day Four ahead, I suppose. It will be a challenge,” he told Sky Sports. “We’ve got to come out and try and knock Pakistan over without them building any sort of partnership. That would be the ideal.
“To chase this total down, I think we’ve got to do it pretty positively. You can’t just bat out there for a long time and not expect to have one with your name on it. We don’t want them to get too much further ahead of us.
“When you lose the toss on a surface like this, you’re always going to be a little bit up against it, especially if there is a first-innings deficit. But, at the same time, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”
Speaking later to reporters, Woakes said: “You always have belief – it would be stupid if we rock up thinking ‘if we lose three quick wickets we’re done.
“You hear a lot about records and chases but things like that are there to be broken. We’ll definitely look at those other wins, the sort of wins where you’re written off around this stage of the game.
“We’ll draw on those experiences. Of course it’s a challenge but we’ve definitely got the ability to win, we’ve got the players who can do it.”
Meanwhile, former England wicketkeeper batsman Matt Prior has come in support of Jos Buttler who is having a forgettable time behind the stumps.
Buttler dropped two catches and missed a stumping during the tourists’ first innings. Both misses proved to be costly as Shan Masood — left off on 45 — went on to score 156.
“I feel for Jos – it’s a horrible place to be but England need him to come out of it,” Prior was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“But it’s not just one guy. If one guy is struggling, the wicketkeeper is struggling, the team have to stand up and say ‘concentrate on your stuff, we’ve got this’.
“I watched Jos very closely (in this Test) and he’s in that place, which I unfortunately have experience of myself, where you question your own game.
“A number of times you could see that Jos was looking at his hands, his gloves. I know that suddenly your gloves don’t feel quite right, your posture is not right.
“You question everything rather than looking at what the match situation is and how you can help the bowler or captain or gee the fielders up which, as we know, is such a crucial role for a keeper.
“When you are battling behind the stumps, it is quite literally the worst place to be on the cricket pitch because you know that ball is coming to you.
“It’s not like being a bowler where you can have a bad spell and then park at third man or a batsman who nudges to 20, gets out and goes to sit in the pavilion,” he added.