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Ben Stokes to lead England in first Test against West Indies

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The English all-rounder and vice-captain, Ben Stokes will lead England for the first time in the first Test of the three Test Wisden Trophy confirmed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Tuesday June 30.

England Test captain Joe Root is set to miss the first Test to be with his wife, Carrie, at the time of birth of his second child later this week.

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Joe Root will leave England’s training camp at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday July 1. He will, thus, also miss the 3-day intra-squad warm up game which will begin on Wednesday.

Joe Root is set to miss the first Test, with his wife expecting second child. (Credits: Twitte/ Joe Root)
Expecting: Joe Root is set to miss the first Test, with his wife expecting second child. (Credits: Twitter/ Joe Root)

Ben Stokes, who was appointed the vice-captain last summer, will become the 81st Test captain of England when he walks out to flip the coin on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

Before the confirmation from ECB, Stokes had said although he had never aimed to lead England, he was looking forward to the opportunity.

“If I’m being honest, I’m not one of those who people would necessarily associate with being next England captain. But I am looking forward to the opportunity of doing it,” he said on Monday June 29.

Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler will fill in as the vice-captain during the Test. His confirmation as vice-captain has cleared the air around England’s wicket-keeper for the first test with as many as four keepers in the squad.

Ben stokes “leads from the front”: England coach

England Coach Silverwood dubbed Ben Stokes as "talisman" who "leads from the front". (Credits: Twitter/ Joe Root)
Leading From Front: England Coach Silverwood dubbed Ben Stokes as “talisman” who “leads from the front”. (Credits: Twitter/ Joe Root)

England Coach Chris Silverwood dubbed Stokes, who was awarded Wisden Player of the year 2020 for prolific performance in the 2019 World Cup finals and 2019 Ashes Test at Edgbaston, as “talisman” who “leads from the front”.

“He’s conscious of the people around him, so I think he’ll do a great job in Rooty’s absence.”

England Coach Chris Silverwood

“It will be interesting to see what he does, because obviously it is his first time captaining England. We know he has got an aggressive nature, but equally there is a good cricket brain in there as well.

“He will have a lot of say in what is going on and he will play a big part in giving his opinions across the selection as well,” said Silverwood.

Joe Root will have to be in self-isolation for a week before re-joining the squad at Emirates Old Trafford on July 13. The second and third test at the Emirates Old Trafford on July 16 and July 24.

In Roots absence, Ben Stokes and Buttler will lead the two squads during the intra-squad warm match

Teams for England intra-squad warm up match

Team Stokes: Dominic Sibley, Keaton Jennings, Zak Crawley, Jonathan Bairstow, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali, Lewis Gregory, Craig Overton, Jack Leach, Olly Stone, James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood.

Team Buttler: Rory Burns, James Bracey, Joe Denly, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (c), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Dominic Bess, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson.

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