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No decision on Stokes's role as England vice-captain yet

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No decision on Stokes's role as England vice-captain yet

Postby Yash96 » March 2nd, 2018, 5:10 am


England Test captain Joe Root says that no decision has yet been made as to whether Ben Stokes will resume his role as the team's vice-captain in the longest format of the game.

When Root was appointed as captain last February following Alastair Cook's resignation, Stokes was named as his deputy in recognition of the positive influence the 26 year-old all-rounder has on his teammates. At the time, Andrew Strauss, Director, England Cricket said: " He has real presence and influence within the team environment that serve as a great source of support for Joe."

Immediately following the altercation with two men outside a Bristol nightclub last September which eventually ruled Stokes out of the Ashes series, the ECB said that he would remain the team's vice-captain. When it became clear that Stokes would not be taking part in the Ashes series, fast-bowler James Anderson was given the role on a temporary basis.

Stokes is likely to return to the Test side later this month for the two Test series against New Zealand which gives England a decision to make but Root confirmed he has not yet discussed the position of vice-captain with head coach Trevor Bayliss. "That's a decision we've not agreed yet," Root said. "I think when we get together as a group, me and Trevor will discuss a few things, but that's not been discussed."

It is another delicate issue for England's management group given Stokes still has a court case hanging over him - he has pleaded not guilty to one charge of affray along with the two other men involved in the incident - and the ECB's need to consider the image of the team and the game as a whole. It may be that any decision over Stokes's resuming his vice-captaincy role is deferred until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.

Stokes has made an impressive return to the one-day team in the current ODI series against New Zealand with a man of the match performance in the second match in Mount Maunganui and a rousing second spell with the ball in the opening game in Hamilton which turned the game back England's way even though they eventually lost that match by three wickets.

Given his impact, it is tempting to wonder how the 4-0 Ashes series defeat may have gone had Stokes been in the team. Not that Root is giving it much thought - at least not publicly. "There's no point looking back at it like that" he said. "It is what it is. The most important (thing) is in terms of Test cricket we look forward to this next series and make sure he can build momentum in this one-day series and keep putting in match-winning performances to give him confidence when he does come back to red-ball cricket."

The Test captain has been impressed with how his good friend Stokes has fitted back in. "All I can say is what I've seen of him coming back into the environment and he's worked his nuts off as we expected him to," Root said. "He's gone about things exactly how you'd expect a really good professional to do and that sort of standard in training is why you get the performances on the field.

"He (Ben) worked really hard back home in Durham to make sure when he did get his opportunity to come back and play he was ready. He loves playing for England and you can see that in the way he plays. He leaves nothing out there on the field, he's really dedicated to this sport and it's really nice to be able to look back on the last game and see him have such an influence on the result."

Stokes said after the second ODI that he had not wanted to ease back into international cricket. He expected himself to hit the ground running and he has certainly done that. "It's testament to just how good a player he actually is, to have such a period out of the game and come straight back and perform how he has shows the skill level of the individual really," Root said. "It's good to see him back playing, it really is."

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