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Joe Root believes Ben Stokes would be a 'fantastic' captain
England News

Joe Root believes Ben Stokes would be a 'fantastic' captain

England Test skipper Joe Root feels Ben Stokes would make a "fantastic" leader if given the opportunity in his absence.

Root is likely to be unavailable for a game during the upcoming Test series against West Indies as his wife is expected to give birth to their second child.

The captaincy vacuum created by Root's paternity leave sees different candidates in line for the sought after job. However, Root believes Stokes stands out for his ability to cope with the burden of varying responsibilities.

"I think if Ben was captain he would be fantastic," he said.

"One of his great qualities as vice-captain and as a leader is he sets the example, the way he goes about his training, how he wants to bowl in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in different scenarios with the bat.

"He drags people with him and gets the best out of the players around him."

Stokes was reappointed to his vice-captaincy post after missing the 2017/18 Ashes series in England while undergoing trial following his role in a public brawl outside a nightclub.

Since his return to national colours, Stokes has been England's star performer, leading them to a historic World Cup win and smashing an incredible hundred against Australia at Headingley last year.

England's much-anticipated clashes with West Indies will see them occupy space in a secure "bubble" to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but the ECB has allowed players to spend time with their families between matches.

"The start of July is the due date, so that complicates things slightly," Root said.

"In terms of the bubble, and the pregnancy, it's always an evolving thing, it's being discussed currently with the medical team."

"It must be extremely scary and I think the whole cricketing world will be grateful to see some cricket again," he added.

Shedding light on the changes in the practice routine under the coronavirus pandemic, Root admitted there were certain safety protocols he now had to observe.

"There are obviously a lot of protocols put in place, but it wasn't too dissimilar to how you would normally go about a net session."

"To start with, everything seems a million miles an hour. Slowly, as a few hours went on, it seemed to come back to me. By the end of it, I felt really good."

He conceded his poor conversion rate in Test cricket needed improvement as he boasts 48 fifties in the conventional format as opposed to only 17 centuries.

"Hopefully that has a positive impact on both sides of my cricket and we can start seeing a few more converted scores and England winning plenty of games," he said.

Root also talked about the eerie feeling of playing amidst empty stands as he has grown accustomed to hearing a noisy home crowd getting behind the England team.

"It depends if they're saying I should be sacked in the morning," joked Root.

"But a few Barmy Army chants a couple of times a session would be nice. If we need a wicket or something, I'm sure the lads would appreciate that."