England bowler Chris Woakes will replace injured all-rounder Ben Stokes for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street starting on Friday [27 May]. The Warwickshire seamer was called into the squad after a knee problem ruled Stokes out for the series and will return to the Test team for the first time since facing South Africa in the winter.
Woakes took nine wickets for Warwickshire in their County Championship clash with Durham less than 24 hours after his call-up to the 12-man squad was announced, and his recent form has seen him beat off competition from Nottinghamshire's uncapped bowler Jake Ball. In six previous outings in the long-form of the game, the 27-year-old has taken eight wickets at an average of 63.75.
The change will see England's batting order revamped, with centurion from Headingley Jonny Bairstow moving up to bat at six, while Moeen Ali will come in at seven with Woakes to follow. England lead 1-0 after an innings and 88-run victory in Leeds and can secure the series with victory in Durham.
"This gives Chris another opportunity to play for England," said Cook, according to The Guardian. "I don't think we've seen the best of him yet in an England shirt, but he's in fine form for Warwickshire – a nine-for and a century in the last two weeks.
"We know Ben balances our side really well, but we need competition for the all-rounder place. It's disappointing for Ben. I've just seen him upstairs – he's in a good mood after his operation went well. It's a bad thing for Ben missing out, but it gives someone else the opportunity.
"He's got that ability to win or change games of cricket very quickly and has done it a few times over the last few months. Certainly a lot of people want to come and watch him play, so he's going to be a big loss for us, but injuries are part and parcel of a side and we need to learn how to play without him."