Ben Stokes to captain England as Joe Root misses first West Indies Test


Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time in the first Test against West Indies starting next week.

Joe Root, England’s permanent red-ball captain, will overlook the first Test and Wednesday’s warm-up match to attend the birth of his second child. Root’s wife, Carrie, is because of give birth later this week.

The ECB confirmed that Root must self-isolate for seven days at home once he leaves hospital with his circle of relatives. He’s expected to be to be had for the second one Test of the series, which starts at Emirates Old Trafford on July 16, and will sign up for up with the squad at the ground on July 13.

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Stokes said in a virtual press convention that he’s going to look to take the “positive route” as captain, and Root has in the past backed him for the role, saying that he would be “improbable” at leading the Test team.

Stokes is likely to change into England’s least-experienced captain in their history, never having captained a first-class, List A or T20 game in his career. According to the Times, the only other man to captain England in Test cricket in the final 50 years with no need captained in a first-class game was once Kevin Pietersen, who had in the past led in an ODI.

Stokes admitted on Monday that he was once “not a kind of people you would necessarily think of as the next England captain”. He was once to begin with awarded the vice-captaincy in 2016 before losing the role a year later following his involvement in the Bristol incident that overshadowed the 2017-18 Ashes series. He won the role back ahead of final year’s Ashes series after reaching out to Tom Harrison, the ECB’s chief executive, following the World Cup last.

Jos Buttler will be Stokes’ vice-captain, in a move that hints he’s going to take the wicketkeeping gloves in the first Test, and the twosome will each and every lead one side in the following day’s warm-up game.

Confirmation that Root will overlook the first Test leaves England with an interesting selection dilemma. Dom Sibley and Rory Burns are expected to open the batting, but Zak Crawley and Joe Denly had gave the impression to be competing for one spot at No. 3. Root’s absence could intent both play, or that there’s an possibility for Dan Lawrence to bat at No. 4. On the other hand, either Ollie Pope or Stokes himself could move up to No. 4, opening up a spot in the middle order for Jonny Bairstow.


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