Superstar all-rounder Ben Stokes will lead England for the first time in ODIs in the upcoming series against Pakistan starting July 8 in Cardiff. He has previously captained his country in a Test match – last summer against West Indies when Joe Root wasn’t available.
Now, he has been drafted as the skipper of the side as an immediate action in the aftermath of the original squad, including regular skipper Eoin Morgan, being placed in isolation following 7 covid-19 positive results – three players and four support staff – being reported in the squad that defeated Sri Lanka in the ODI series.
Ben Stokes says that all the things have happened quickly, however, he isn’t totally surprised to be leading the side against Pakistan; he acknowledges that it would be a massive job to fill Morgan’s shoes.
“Well, that escalated quickly! To say that I wasn’t expecting to be leading England out in a one day match in Cardiff this week would be a huge understatement. But here we are, and duty calls,” Ben Stokes wrote in his column for The Mirror.
“I only packed clothes for three days away from home, so there will need to be a bit of extra washing done, although I hadn’t actually received any of my new England one day kit yet so that should all be waiting for me, I hope.
“The last time I captained a white ball side was in an IPL warm up game. So this will be new for me too, but my experience as a player should get me through, even if Morgs’ (Eoin Morgan) shoes are unbelievably big to fill!” he added.
We are lucky to have the strength in depth that we have in white-ball cricket: Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes was pulled out from his Blast duties for Durham for the national duties. The selectors have announced a completely new 18-man ODI squad to host Pakistan; the squad includes as many as 9 uncapped players. The all-rounder was effusive in his praises for England’s bench strength in limited-overs cricket.
He also assured the fans that the side, despite lacking any significant experience at the highest level, will give a tough challenge to Babar Azam’s visiting outfit.
“I’m not sure how many countries could lose this many players and still have such quality to choose from at such short notice. We are lucky to have the strength in depth that we have in white ball cricket, and this is just a fantastic opportunity for these players to show what they can do,” said Stokes.
“You have to be able to adapt at this level and that is what has been going on over the last 24 hours off the field. It has been amazing how quickly things have been put in place since I got the call late on Monday night,” the all-rounder further wrote.