England all-rounder Ben Stokes is confident of being himself even if he is handed the role of the captain in the absence of Joe Root in the first Test against West Indies. England skipper Joe Root is likely to miss the series opener against the Windies at Ageas Bowl, which means vice-skipper Stokes will take over the reins of the team. England's three-match Test series against the Men in Maroon marks the resumption of international cricket after nearly a three-month-long hiatus post the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to BBC, the Durham all-rounder revealed that his style of playing will not change even if he has the additional responsibility as the skipper and vowed to take the positive route as he always does. The World Cup-winning cricketer pointed out that he always attempts to generate positivity, with both bat and ball and that he will continue to do so if handed over the reins of the side in the first Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. Terming it as a huge honour to become the captain of England, Ben Stokes said that he was looking forward to the stint despite being aware that it was just for one game in the absence of skipper Root. Stokes opined that he would be an 'open captain' who would take the advice of ten other 'experienced' cricketers on the field before taking a call.
Root has thrown his weight behind the all-rounder for being the interim captain, describing him as a “natural leader“. “He’s very well equipped to do a fantastic job for us,” Root told the BBC. Root is also a doubtful starter for the second Test as the skipper will be required to undergo seven days of self-isolation before joining the team. Last week, England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) director of cricket Ashley Giles had said the board hopes to allow players to leave and re-enter the team “bubble” during the series, including Root. The series, which will be played in ‘bio-secure’ venues, will mark the resumption of cricket after a three-month-long coronavirus-forced break.
The first test of the series will commence on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl. The second and third test will be played at the Old Trafford subsequently dates for which are July 16 and July 24. The ECB while announcing the proposed schedule had stated that decision on other scheduled matches for England Men and England Women this summer will be determined at a later date.