‘Ben Stokes would lead from the front like Virat Kohli’: Joe Root
By: PTI |

Published: June 17, 2020 7:58:09 pm

Ben Stokes is ready to take over the reins in Joe Root’s absence. (Source: File Photo)

England captain Joe Root sees a shade of Virat Kohli in his deputy Ben Stokes and feels the flamboyant all-rounder will lead by instance like the Indian skipper if he has to take cost throughout the three-Test sequence towards the West Indies starting July 8.

Root is anticipating the arrival of his second baby in July and he might miss a match or two to be along with his spouse Carrie and in addition to keep up the bio-security protocols to deal with COVID-19.

“You know Virat (Kohli) goes out there and performs and expects everyone to go and do the same within the same team and I imagine that’s how Ben will go about his business,” the premier English batsman stated in a chat present on Sony Ten’s ‘Pit Stop’.

Stokes has already stated he’s able to take the problem to be the “the Scottie Pippen to Joe Root’s Michael Jordan”, referring to the basketball legend’s Chicago Bulls group of the late 1990s.

“I think Ben is better… Ben would make a better ‘Michael Jordan’ than me. He (Stokes) has a great quality, leads from the front, just as Michael Jordan did you know,” Root quipped.

“He’s already a big leader in the team as the vice-captain…There’s a huge amount of respect for him. He has obviously accomplished so much within the game and within Test cricket that he’s more than well enough equipped to do a really good job.”

All eyes would even be on how the English and the West Indian cricketers address the saliva ban, carried out briefly by the International Cricket Council to cease the unfold of COVID-19.

“I don’t think it would change a huge amount in England. It depends, obviously, in terms of the conditions when it’s a little bit more overcast, there’s not been much cricket played in the squares and the outfield should be very lush,” he stated.

“Damage to the Duke ball doesn’t really take effect till about 50 overs or 40 overs if that’s the case. So it should swing consistently anyway,” he opined.

“So I can’t see it playing as much of having as much of an impact, especially at the start of the summer. I think, as the summer goes on and if we get some good weather the squares become a little bit more abrasive, than the reverse swing might be a natural part anyway.”

West Indies’ rescheduled tour of England, to be aired on Sony Sports Network, is ready to start behind closed doorways with the first Test at Southampton.

“It’s probably the longest break from cricket I’ve had since I was 12-13 years old…It will be slightly strange, but, you know, very pleased that we’ll be able to bring some international cricket around the world again and hopefully we will be able to enjoy watching some live sport again,” he stated.

Bairstow wanting to get spot again in England Test squad

Jonny Bairstow in motion. (Source: Reuters)

Wicket-keeper batsman Jonny Bairstow says he’s assured of regaining his place in England’s Test group for the upcoming sequence towards the West Indies after placing in the laborious yards to enhance his glove-work.

The 30-year-old was dropped from the New Zealand tour late final 12 months and featured in a single Test in South Africa as a batsman however didn’t do his possibilities any good by scoring 1 and 9 to be unnoticed of the remainder of the sequence.

“Over a period of time, I’ve been really happy with my keeping. That was the part of my game which, at the start of my career, people questioned. But people have stopped speaking about it over the last couple of years,” he was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.

“My stats are very good. So there’s no reason why that isn’t an area I want to be coming back into.”

Bairstow has been struggling along with his batting and has only one century to point out in his final 18 Tests. He has scored runs at a mean of 19.15 in 14 Tests since mid-August 2018.

“I’m pleased with the way my batting has been going. I’ve been facing the dogstick and I’ve had a few sessions with the bowling machine. It’s been good to groove my technique,” he stated.

“There have always been challenges that have been asked – whether keeping wicket or batting in certain positions – and I’d like to think I’ve risen to those challenges … I hope they will get me back in the side as long as I score enough runs.”

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