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Ben Stokes could captain England during West Indies Tests

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Ben Stokes, the star England all-rounder, could have his credentials as captain observed closely during the Test series against West Indies next month after skipper Joe Root said he is expected to be away at the time for the birth of his second child.

England and West Indies are set to clash in three Tests next month, pending approval from the UK government, as per the new schedule released on Tuesday.

However, with biosecure measures necessitating quarantining and a period of isolation from the outside world – the processes for which are still being worked out by the ECB – Root stands to miss a fair portion of the three-match series.

While his batting abilities will be missed, Root said the captaincy of the team was safe in the hands with Stokes. “I could see him doing a very good job,” Root said.

“One of his great qualities as vice-captain and as a leader is he sets the example. The way he goes about training, how he wants to bowl in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in different scenarios with the bat – he drags people with him.”

Captaincy has historically been a challenge for all-rounders – Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff both struggled to fulfill all roles efficiently – but Root said he still wouldn’t put it past Stokes to do well in the role.

“Until you get the opportunity to do it for longer, you just never know, it might be a huge success. I wouldn’t put it past him,” said Root.

“Throughout his career, he’s always responded well and Test captaincy is more than just a bit of added responsibility. Over time it does take a lot out of you, but he’s a very impressive player and man in our dressing room. I’d never say Ben Stokes can’t do anything, he’s pretty much proved that.”

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