London: England all-rounder Ben Stokes says he hasn’t “dived into the whole idea” of captaincy yet, but will consider it a “huge honour” if he gets to lead England for a Test match.
Captain Joe Root is awaiting the birth of his second child, and so is expected to miss at least one Test during England’s upcoming three-match series against West Indies. As vice-captain, Ben Stokes will take over in the event of Root missing a Test, though he is waiting on absolute confirmation before throwing himself into the role.
“I haven’t really dived into it yet,” Stokes said during a virtual press conference. “For me, at the moment it’s all about preparing and getting to the level I want to be two to three days out before the first Test match starts. But I know, because we’ve got such a big squad at the moment that there’s so many players that you’ve got to keep your eye on. Because we’re in split training at the moment it’s tough to be able to see everybody.
“I haven’t fully dived into the whole idea yet, on purpose. I’m just waiting for the right time to do that. It’s still a long way off, so when it gets a little bit closer and it’s 100 per cent confirmed I will be in charge, I’m sure the mindset will change.”
The World Cup final hero was also confident that he had learned plenty over the years from Root, and former England captain Alastair Cook, that he would be prepared to face whatever the West Indies could throw at him during the Test. Beyond his own experience, Stokes spoke of how he was also planning to utilise the knowledge of the rest of his side.
“I’ve been a senior player in the team since 2016, under Cooky [Alastair Cook], and obviously since Joe [Root]’s been in charge. So being able to learn from Alastair Cook and being able to learn from Rooty in terms of different situations throughout the game I think has rubbed off on me and will put me in good stead for all the different situations a Test match can throw at you.
“But at the same time, we’ve got some really, really experienced guys out on the field who I can use. We’ve got Jimmy and Broady who have got ample Test matches and wickets between them, and there’s so many people you can throw ideas off.
“I like to think I’ll be quite an open captain and wouldn’t think that my way is the only way. Because necessarily I don’t think that is the best way to operate. There’s 11 guys out on the field so why not get 10 other opinions on something you’re thinking about.”