Chris Woakes arrives at the maiden century test on the third day as England build 250 leads India

Chris Woakes scored his first century test for England against India on the third day at Lord & # 39; s

It was assumed that the absence of Ben Stokes in this game, and possibly beyond, had left England with an impossible hole to connect.

Chris Woakes is too modest to say, but he has always been much more than stuffed.

As if using the ball to make Virat Kohli look deadly was not enough for a game, Woakes spent Saturday afternoon wielding his bat until the test century, celebrated with a smile as big as his Worcester and the Birmingham Channel.

Chris Woakes scored his first century test for England against India on the third day at Lord & # 39; s

Chris Woakes scored his first century test for England against India on the third day at Lord & # 39; s

The 29-year-old multiplayer looked understandably delighted to celebrate his first ton

The 29-year-old multiplayer looked understandably delighted to celebrate his first ton

Woakes finally reached 120 no, as England built a 250-race lead

Woakes finally reached 120 no, as England built a 250-race lead

The 29-year-old multiplayer celebrated his first ton before reaching 120 not out

Even better, their careers were part of a 189-team job that defined matches with Jonny Bairstow, who seemed destined to follow him to the three figures until he finished a great season against Hardik Pandya in 93.

The partnership, an England record for the sixth wicket against India, gave them complete control of the second test, and almost certainly the series.

And he confirmed Woakes as a player who, in home conditions, deserves to be taken very seriously. If Stokes does not reappear this summer, the all-terrain concert will be in good hands.

The last year or so has not always been easy for Woakes. He was removed from his injury too early by Headingley's test against the West Indies last summer, and suffered horrible ashes before being dropped in New Zealand.

Jonny Bairstow hit brilliantly in partnership with Woakes, but dropped seven fewer than his own 100

Jonny Bairstow hit brilliantly in partnership with Woakes, but dropped seven fewer than his own 100

Jonny Bairstow hit brilliantly in partnership with Woakes, but dropped seven fewer than his own 100

More fitness problems limited him to one of the first three Tests of England this summer against Pakistan and India.

Now, he is only his fourth player – after Gubby Allen, Ian Botham and Stuart Broad – to record his name on the three Honor Scoreboards of the Lord: hundreds, five times and sets of ten terrains.

The delight of his teammates on the balcony when, in '97, he pulled Pandya out of the stump for three was spontaneous and genuine.

Even Trevor Bayliss, the normally taciturn coach, was standing cheering when the ball cleared the man in the middle. There can hardly be a more popular cricketer in England.

And make no mistake: this was not a gift. England was 131 for five in response to India 107 when Woakes joined Bairstow.

Another fast shutter, and tourists might have thought about the possibility of setting a complicated fourth-round goal in a field where the strange ball was already being kept low.

If the conditions were not the perfect storm facing the batters of India on Friday, when Jimmy Anderson went crazy under pregnant skies, there was still side movement on offer, both by air and off the field.

England lost four wickets during the opening session when Mohammed Shami made inroads

England lost four wickets during the opening session when Mohammed Shami made inroads

England lost four wickets during the opening session when Mohammed Shami made inroads

He eliminated Keaton Jennings and Joe Root (R) while India fought hard before lunch.

He eliminated Keaton Jennings and Joe Root (R) while India fought hard before lunch.

He eliminated Keaton Jennings and Joe Root (R) while India fought hard before lunch.

Jos Buttler added 24 before being caught lbw by Shami, with England leading by the same total

Jos Buttler added 24 before being caught lbw by Shami, with England leading by the same total

Jos Buttler added 24 before being caught lbw by Shami, with England leading by the same total

Mohammed Shami had just won his third lbw cry from the innings to eliminate Jos Buttler, and India had a small window in which to underline why they are miles away at the top of the standings.

Instead, Bairstow – playing one of his more mature test tickets – and Woakes slammed shut.

Bairstow's batting needs little introduction, however, Woakes did more than equal it. A direct unit for four people, Ishant Sharma, belonged above in the order.

It seemed absurd that his highest score in the Test so far would have been 66; and equally foolish that this was his first Test turn for two years from higher than No 8.

Gloriously, Woakes is now the only man in the history of the Test Cricket who averages more than 50 with the bat and less than 10 with the ball in one place.

But the damn statistics. While the English game looks anxiously at the events in the Bristol crown court, this was a possibility to reaffirm the essential goodness of cricket.

At the time the bad light ended the game with 17 overs still to go, Woakes had contributed an unbeaten 120 from only 159 balls to a total of 357 for six. England leads by 250. Only bad weather can save India now.

For much of the day, they seemed determined to atone for their first chance. In the eighth episode, Shami hit Keaton Jennings on the ankle in front of the central stump, but Alastair Cook persuaded his partner to check him. He left Jennings with 90 runs in four innings since his retirement, and in need of something substantial to fend off the challenge of Rory Burns of Surrey.

Bairstow scored 93 before his goal was caught with one hand by goalkeeper Dinesh Karthik

Bairstow scored 93 before his goal was caught with one hand by goalkeeper Dinesh Karthik

Bairstow scored 93 before his goal was caught with one hand by goalkeeper Dinesh Karthik

However, Woakes and Bairstow combined to help the hosts build a dominant leadership

However, Woakes and Bairstow combined to help the hosts build a dominant leadership

However, Woakes and Bairstow combined to help the hosts build a dominant leadership

Cook looked good by 21 before beating Sharma, and was 77-by-three when Ollie Pope, 20, who got his second ball into the test cricket by four and generally looked serene and elegant, was caught by Pandya for 28.

Joe Root made an unusual scratch 19 before Shami threw a punch back down the slope and into his pads with what became the last ball before lunch. And then, Buttler's animated 24 ended when he went too far to Shami and missed a whip to the leg.

At this stage, the highest score of the game was 29 Ravichandran Ashwin. But Bairstow went from that, and Woakes went to bed when Kohli started chasing the game, since he tends to do it when he fears losing control.

Sam Curran joined Woakes in the fold before the game was stopped prematurely by a bad light

Sam Curran joined Woakes in the fold before the game was stopped prematurely by a bad light

Sam Curran joined Woakes in the fold before the game was stopped prematurely by a bad light

With the twist of the wrist on Kuldeep Yadav's left arm being erratic, and Ashwin getting little purchase with his breaks, India's decision to play two slow bowlers seemed even worse than at the launch.

More damned, they seemed as undercooked as you would expect from a team that played only a first-class game before this series, against Essex in Chelmsford. Even then, they insisted on cutting back one day. What a fool looks now.

In truth, they had to emerge victorious from a tight first test in Edgbaston. And if they go 2-0 down here, they'll have to make history. Only one side has won a series of Tests from that position, and they included Don Bradman, against England in 1936-37. Kohli is good, but not so good.

As for Chris Woakes, it may be something else.

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