England all-rounder Ben Stokes would step into the Test captain’s role for the first time when international cricket resumes after a hiatus of more than three months. Regular skipper and England’s batting mainstay Joe Root is likely to miss the opening Test against West Indies in Southampton as he expects the birth of his second child. And Stuart Broad feels that Ben Stokes would reign supreme in the role as a leader.
Want to be a professional cricketer?
Over the last few months, Stokes has improved manifold as England’s most valuable player across formats, making a drastic impact in all the departments. From the Headingley Test against Australia till the tour of South Africa, the 29-year old has fulfilled his duties perfectly as the vice-captain. Across 31 fixtures in Tests and ODIs in 2019, Ben Stokes scored 1540 runs while picking up 34 wickets.
Stuart Broad remains confident that the left-handed batsman would do justice to the role. The 138-Test veteran feels that the most challenging part of leadership duties are the off-field responsibilities, meetings, which the stand-in-captain does not have to get involved in.
“Stokes will be fine. The toughest part of the job is off the field, lots of extra meetings and planning, which he won’t have to get involved in,” Broad stated as quoted by Times Now.
I have no doubts Ben Stokes will be brilliant: Stuart Broad
Broad states that Stokes boasts of a shrewd cricket brain and the experience, maturity that he has developed would make it easier for him to captain. After not winning any Test series in 2019, the Englishmen enjoyed a successful Test tour of South Africa, winning the four-match rubber by 3-1.
“He has a great cricket brain, he has grown and matured over the last few years so captaining one game will be easy. There won’t be much pressure as he’s not being judged over a long period of time. I have no doubts he will be brilliant.”
It will be a mental test: Stuart Broad
The Nottinghamshire paceman weighed on the prospect of playing in empty stadiums by stating that it would be a challenge. The 34-year old added that he is going to train his brain not to adopt a negative mindset. Broad is also seeking assistance from sports psychologists on the same. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the players have to acclimatize themselves into new playing practices.
The first of the three Tests begins in Southampton while Manchester would play as hosts for the next two. Broad has so far 485 wickets in 138 Tests and would partner with James Anderson.
“It will be a mental test… I’ve just got to make sure to train my brain not to get into a negative mindset. .There might be times when the minds of players drift but we need to make sure we are as engaged as possible,” he added.