Ben Stokes says “he’s really looking forward to captaining England,” with current skipper Joe Root set to miss the first Test against West Indies next week to attend the birth of his second child.
“To be honest, I’ve given it a little bit of thought, I haven’t really dived into it yet,” said Stokes. “It’s all about preparing and getting to the level I want to be 2 3 days out before the test match starts. I know have so many players, we’ve got such a big squad there’s so many players you’ve got to keep your eye on. I haven’t fully dived into the whole idea yet on purpose. I’m just waiting for the right time. It’s still a long way off, when it gets a bit closer – when it’s 100% confirmed I’m going to be in charge – then I’m sure my mindset will change.”
The 29-year-old England vice-captain was named the ICC player of the year for 2019 after playing starring roles in the side’s maiden 50-over World Cup triumph and one-wicket win in the Leeds Test during the Ashes in 2019
“Getting the opportunity to lead England is a huge honour, even if it’s only the once, you can still say that I’ve captained England. It’s a huge honour to think about and obviously it’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to if it presents itself. But also at the same time I know I’m only stepping in to take over the reigns for the one game because of Joe’s personal situation. It’s a huge thing to think about and if it does present itself then obviously I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve been a senior player in the team for a long time under Alastair Cook and since Joe’s been in charge. Being able to learn from Cook and Root in terms of different situations throughout the game has rubbed off on me and will put me in good stead for all the different situations a test match can throw at you. I’d like to think I would be an open captain and not be just my way is the high way. There’s 11 guys on the field, why not get 10 other opinions on something that you’re thinking about?
“If I’ve got the ball or the bat in my hand I’d like to think I’m still going to have the same mentality that I always do. I’ve been in so many different positions as a batter and a bowler on the field that I can always relate back to them. It’s a tough one, knowing as a bowler when to take yourself off or keep yourself on. I don’t know, we’ll have to wait and see.”