Chris Woakes is bracing himself for the day when 500 could be scored in a 50-over match – and praying he is on the right side if it ever happens.
Woakes emerged with great credit, but none of the headlines, as England broke a raft of records in their series-sealing victory over Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
His 4-41 was the latest in a series of convincing performances in a breakthrough summer individually, and helped England complete a 169-run win.
Alex Hales’s England record 171 – beating Robin Smith’s 167 not out 23 years ago – England’s world-best 444-3 and Jos Buttler’s new mark for this country’s fastest one-day international 50 from just 22 balls all naturally overshadowed Woakes’s commendable efforts.
England therefore have an unassailable 3-0 Royal London Series lead, with the first of two remaining matches at Headingley today, and are unbeaten in their nine white-ball fixtures this summer.
Woakes was a mere spectator while Hales, Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root were piling up England’s world-beating total in Nottingham.
As for the future, he does not discount even bigger totals in the offing – but wonders if a magic 500 may perhaps remain out of reach.
“Who knows?” he asked.
“If the boys keep batting the way they are, you can never say never – but it would be a really freakish day.”
England were breaking a 10-year-old one-day international record, set by Sri Lanka against Holland, and did so only from the final ball of the innings when Buttler smashed yet another boundary.
“It’s a long time since that (record was set),” Woakes added.
“We’ve seen 400 reached a lot more often – but whether 500 can happen, I’m not sure it can.
“I hope not as a bowler.”
He believes England could well challenge their own new record, however, having now hit all their top five ODI totals in the space of the last 15 months – since they first topped 400 against New Zealand at Edgbaston.
Asked if they could repeat or improve on their latest feat, Woakes said: “I think it could happen... but not very often.
“It was a belting wicket with a fast outfield, but at the same time you have to perform well as a batting unit – and someone has to stand out.
“Obviously Alex has done that, batting fantastically – supported by Joe, Jos and Eoin. It was just an amazing day really.
“To set a world record is phenomenal and it is a really amazing achievement by the team.”
England’s next chance will follow swiftly in Leeds, but Woakes warns they must have some caution before aiming too high again immediately.
“You’d be silly to be thinking ‘try to get 445’ – because you have to assess conditions and see what the score is on that day.
“But who knows what the next world record will be?”
Personally Woakes had mixed feelings while England were racking up their 16 sixes and 43 fours on Tuesday – but the pressure facing Pakistan’s chase proved to his advantage.
“It gets to a stage in the dressing room where all the batsmen are cheering it and the bowlers are like ‘Oh God’ – because you know the opposition batsmen will have to come out hard at you.
“But at the same time it’s an opportunity to take wickets, and that’s exactly how it worked.”
Hales’s return to form, after a mixed summer and miserable end to the Test series against Pakistan, merely confirmed Woakes’s faith.
“It certainly hasn’t surprised me,” he said. “He’s a brilliant player.
“I’ve played against him and he’s scored ‘daddy’ hundreds in no time in four-day cricket.
“He had a hundred before lunch once.
“You have to be able to play to do that.”