England vs West Indies: Joe Root may miss series opener
England skipper Joe Root could miss the first Test against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl next month. Reportedly, Root's wife is due to give birth to their second child at the start of July. ECB recently released the schedule of Test series, which is subject to government clearance. As per the schedule, the series opener will begin on July 8. Here is more.
England's vice-captain Ben Stokes is likely to lead the side in the absence of regular skipper Joe Root. Although Stokes has only captained in Under-17 cricket, he will be the obvious choice to spearhead England in the first Test against West Indies. He has already been a match-winner for England across formats, having sealed victories single-handedly. The 2019 Headingley Test is a classic example.
"I think if Ben was captain he would be fantastic. One of his great qualities as vice-captain and as a leader is he sets the example, the way he goes about his training, the way he stands up in different scenarios with bat," said Root.
Root added that Stokes knows how to get the best out of players. "He drags people with him and gets the best out of the players around him. I think that's a great quality to have as a leader and something he can take into captaincy if he was to get the opportunity. I could see him doing a very good job," he added.
The series opener will be played at the Ageas Bowl from July 8-12, while the Emirates Old Trafford will host the second (July 16-20) and third Test (24-28). However, the schedule will be subject to government clearance.
Earlier this year, Ben Stokes was named the Leading Cricketer in the World in the recently published (2020) edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. The 28-year-old led England to their maiden World Cup title, smashing an unbeaten 84 in the final. He also starred in Australia's 2019 Ashes campaign as he racked up 441 runs at 55.12. Stokes also claimed eight scalps in the series.