India announced their squad for the remaining three home Tests against England on Saturday, February 10. While batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja have been recalled to the team, subject to fitness clearance, Kohli has left out again, after he cited for another break due to a family emergency. Earlier, the 35-year-old missed the first two Tests against England as well due to personal reasons.
Speaking to ANI, Woakes opened up on Kohli’s absence and commented, "Obviously the fans will be disappointed. It would have been amazing to see Virat Kohli play in the series. I hope he is okay and his family is okay.
“I just hope whenever he comes back to cricket he will be in a good place. I think we have been very lucky to have him play in so many games,” the 34-year-old added.
On the Test series, which stands level at 1-1 after two games, the England all-rounder stated, “It's been a great series to watch, I am sure, the guys (England Cricket Team) love playing in India. Amazing place to play cricket. I think more exciting Test matches are coming up.”
England fought back after a poor start in the first Test to clinch the match in Hyderabad by 28 runs. India hit back in the second Test in Visakhapatnam to register victory by 106 runs. Jasprit Bumrah claimed nine wickets in the Test and Woakes admitted that he was the standout player.
"I have managed to keep a look at the score but could not watch it. It seems like an amazing Test series. In the last Test match, Jasprit Bumrah was the standout player, he is a world-class player. Across all the formats, he is one of the best if not the best at the moment. It's great to see fast bowling executed well especially in this condition," he continued.
Bumrah completed 150 wickets in Test cricket during the second match and stunned England with some brilliant deliveries.
Woakes also agreed that India are favorites at home, but asserted that England have the team to win the series. He termed the upcoming Test in Rajkot as very important.
"When you're going to play India, obviously India will be the favourites. Team England knows what they need to do to compete and they will see where the series is now, 1-1. The next match will be very important as it is the middle game of the series," Woakes said.
"I think England got a great chance to win, my prediction is that England will definitely win one more game in the series, and it would be a decider," he added.
--By A Cricket Correspondent