CHRIS Woakes is confident his preparation for a maiden Ashes campaign in Australia is bang on course after his six-wicket haul in Townsville.

Woakes insisted last week in Adelaide he wanted to face a Cricket Australia XI again here, preferring in his words to be "over-cooked than under-cooked" for the first Test in Brisbane.

He finished with six for 54 after day one of four as the hosts reached 249 for nine at stumps, and declared afterwards that he is on target to peak at the Gabba.

"All the numbers are saying that I'm getting close to being 'cooked' – I'm pleased with where I'm at," he said.

"A week away from the first Test, it's always nice to hit a bit of form.

"As a bowling unit, we feel like we've gone really well.

"We want to continue to work on plans we might be taking into the Test series, and hope to bring about some confidence."

Woakes' summer at home was wrecked by a nasty side strain – and even after he was fit to return for the penultimate Test at Headingley, he was then dropped for the final match of the series against West Indies at Lord's.

"I suppose whenever you're left out of a Test team, you're always dying to get back in it and prove your worth," he said, adding that he is primed to help make up for the absence of his fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes on this tour.

Stokes is as yet unavailable, still at home waiting to hear if he will be charged with causing actual bodily harm after a late-night fracas in Bristol in September.

"With Ben being away, it means all of us have got to step up," said Woakes.

"I hope I can do that – score runs and take wickets. That's my plan and I feel like I'm building well into that Test series."