Following the departure of his close friend Joe Root, Ben Stokes was named England’s Test captain last week. The talismanic all-rounder will be on a quest to resurrect his country in the longest format of the game, where they have struggled in recent years under Root.
Ben Stokes isn’t simply an English cricketing unicorn. He has the ability to smash the ball all over the ground, chip in with a few overs to provide important breakthroughs, and can be a lethal fielder. Overall, Stokes is a comprehensive bundle. However, the world of cricket is about to see the emergence of a new Stokes, something they have never seen at the greatest level. Rob Key, the ECB’s new managing director for men’s cricket, believes the Englishman will be their future Test captain. After Stokes’ appointment, Key said of him, “He is the ideal guy for the position.”
Key’s comment was correct, but not in a good manner. In the present ICC World Test Championship, England is winless in red-ball cricket, having only won one of its 12 matches. As a result, they have 18 points at 12.50 PCT, putting them at the bottom of the points table (percentage of points). Stokes’ appointment is exciting, but it also comes with a lot of pressure. In the past, England has had two dynamic all-rounders as captains – Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff – but neither has had much success. Stokes is now the captain of a ship that has been sinking for quite some time.
England’s two best wicket-takers in Test cricket, James Anderson and Stuart Broad were dropped from the Caribbean trip in March by Joe Root, who was previously in charge. The strategy failed, and England suffered a humiliating 1-0 defeat at home. It prompted the ECB to make the obvious adjustment, which they could and should have made sooner. Broad, 35, and Anderson, 39, are expected to return in England’s next Test match, according to Key. For long-term replacements, Stokes must locate people who can improvise and use their innate abilities. They already have one in Ollie Robinson, but at least two more are required to complete the depth chart.
Since 2017, England has lost 17 Tests away from home, tying Bangladesh for the poorest record in this time span. Given that Bangladesh has yet to play in the longest format on a regular basis, this is hardly a disaster. They are not, however, the same big boys as England. Stokes is well aware that his task would not be simple. But, for the time being, he is fully aware of his destination. “Since I was 18, I’ve had to live with the nicknames Andrew Flintoff and Sir Ian Botham, but I’ve never attempted to be Andrew Flintoff or Sir Ian Botham.” On May 3, I’m Ben Stokes,” Stokes told Sky Sports News.
“I’ll be throwing all I’ve got into it because I know I’ve got a big part to play in getting this Test squad back on track.”