English cricket is living in a golden age of allrounders, with Chris Woakes the latest to turn a test in his team's favour.

Just like Sam Curran a week ago in Birmingham, Woakes delivered with bat and ball to put England in command against India.

This performance is timely on a personal and collective level. England rely so heavily on Ben Stokes in test cricket and Woakes is playing only because the former is on trial at Bristol Crown Court for affray.

Injuries have beset Woakes over the past 12 months and a flogging on flat Aussie pitches confirmed the opinion he is a player for home conditions.


England could have moved on from him in test cricket this summer, given selector Ed Smith's determination to look to the future and unlock the formula to winning away, but his maiden test hundred at Lord's and his bowling have changed all that.

His century also puts him in the rare position of occupying spaces on both honours boards at Lord's for batting and bowling, becoming only the seventh Englishman to achieve such a feat.

Woakes is one of the most popular men in cricket and nobody would begrudge him such a special moment at Lord's, surely the finest time for an England player to score a first test hundred.

He is liked and respected across the circuit and that was reflected in the standing ovation from the crowd and all his teammates on the England balcony when he reached his century. The fact he brought it up with his only dodgy shot, a mistimed pull over mid-on, did not matter, for Woakes' calm innings had put his side in total control of the second test.

Woakes and Jonny Bairstow's 189-run stand for the sixth wicket, an England record against India, wore down India and only rain can save them from defeat now.

When bad light cut short day three, England were 357 for six, a lead of 250, and in position to go 2-0 up with the next test at Trent Bridge - James Anderson's favourite ground.

Woakes brought a level-headed coolness to an England innings that had been frantic and threatened to throw away the advantage built by Anderson's bowling.

The top order again failed to last long despite a bright start by Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings.

It took India's bowlers a while to find the length and movement that England enjoyed on the first day but once Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami discovered their rhythm, wickets started to fall.

Jennings played a poor shot, missing a straight full ball when Shami fired one in quicker while Cook received another jaffa, his third of the series, when Sharma bowling around the wicket straightened one down the slope and found the edge.

It brought Ollie Pope to the crease on his debut and batting for the first time in his career within the first 10 overs of an innings in first-class cricket. He looks like a younger version of Ian Bell but with more confidence to impose himself at such a tender age. His 28 off 38 balls was promising but it was another innings that flowered too briefly.

Joe Root was also in a rush and never found any fluency looking more edgy than we are used to seeing from such a fine player. It looked to be getting to him as he walked away between balls, constantly chiding himself. His unhappy innings ended when Shami angled the ball in which kept low and hit him on the back leg.

Jos Buttler nearly dragged on a couple of times and eventually played around a straight ball to Shami for a patchy 24.