Ben Stokes will do ‘great job’ as England captain against West Indies, says head coach Chris Silverwood

Ben Stokes has been backed to flourish as England stand-in captain
Ben Stokes has been backed to flourish as England stand-in captain (Picture: Getty)

Ben Stokes will do a ‘great job’ as England stand-in captain during the first Test against West Indies, says head coach Chris Silverwood.

With Test skipper Joe Root leaving England’s training bubble at the Ageas Bowl to attend the birth of his second child, Stokes will lead the side out as international cricket returns following a lengthy break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Stokes has not captained a team in more than a decade but was the obvious candidate to cover for Root and can excel in the role, according to Silverwood.

‘I think he will do a great job,’ Silverwood said of 29-year-old Stokes.

‘The one thing we know about Ben is that he is a talisman. He leads from the front anyway.

‘He’s conscientious of the people around him as well so I think he’ll do a great job in Rooty’s absence.’

Stokes was named England vice-captain when Root took over as captain in 2017 but was stripped of the role following an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September that year.

Joe Root will miss the series opener against West Indies
Joe Root will miss the series opener against West Indies (Picture: Getty)

The all-rounder was later found not guilty of affray, however, and resumed his role as England vice-skipper at the end of 2019.

‘It will be interesting to see how he goes about it because it’s his first time captaining England,’ Silverwood added.

‘We know he has an aggressive nature but equally there’s a good cricket brain there as well.

‘So I think he will be quite thoughtful when he’s deciding what moves to make out there in the middle. I’m looking forward to working with him.

England head coach Chris Silverwood
England head coach Chris Silverwood (Picture: Getty)

‘I’ll extend him the same courtesies as I do Rooty so he will have a lot of say in what’s going on and play a big part in selection as well.

‘He’s in a good position to do it. He’s been Rooty’s right-hand man for a while now. Rooty turns to him a lot and he’s been involved in a lot of talks we’ve had behind the scenes so he’s in a great place to pick up the mantle.’

Stokes will become the 81st man to lead England in a Test and the first all-rounder since Andrew Flintoff.

Following a period of self-isolation after he leaves hospital with his family, Root will rejoin his England team-mates ahead of the second Test against West Indies at Old Trafford.

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