Ben Stokes: The captain will be a learning curve for the English handyman – Jonny Bairstow

Jonny Bairstow says he doesn’t expect the captain role to change Ben Stokes as a player
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Being captain of the England event will be a “learning curve” for Ben Stokes, says teammate Jonny Bairstow.

All-rounder Stokes takes on the role of captain with England having only achieved one win in the last 17 tests.

The first test against New Zealand at Lord’s on Thursday will be the first outing for new England captain and manager Brendon McCullum.

“It won’t change much compared to Ben Stokes, the player,” Bairstow told the BBC Test Match Special.

“The way he plays bowling and batting, it’s all sincere stuff and his captain will be the same.

Stokes already captained England in the first Test Against the West Indies in 2020, when former skipper Joe Root missed the match to witness the birth of his second child.

He also led the one-day international team to a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan last summer after a Covid outbreak forced England to name an entirely new team.

Middle-class hitter Bairstow said England fans will need to be patient as well as excited about the team’s new era under Stokes as permanent captain.

“It will be a learning experience for him too,” she said.

“We have to understand and recognize that it will be a learning curve, but the experience he has around him and the visions he has are fantastic.

“If we can all work together in the right direction then it will be an exciting brand of cricket.”

Bairstow played a key role in England’s white ball transformation under Eoin Morgan which led to the 2019 World Cup victory and says a similar transition is due for the test team.

“It took a period of time for that transition to happen,” he added. “Everyone knows that it didn’t happen overnight.

“But it was the way someone dared to go: ‘Right. This is actually the way we’re going to play and stick to that.’ And that person was Morgs [Eoin Morgan] and it’s exciting “.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, England’s best wicket players of all time, are vying to play the first test, having been barred from the West Indies tour in March, but the hosts are missing eight other pace players for injury.

Ollie Robinson was withdrawn Thursday from County XI who beat New Zealand in a warm-up due to stiffness in his lower back.

England announced on Monday that Robinson also tested positive for Covid-19 that day and that his back injury will be assessed once his isolation period ends this week.

Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood, and Matt Fisher were excluded for long periods with stress-related back fractures, while Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, and Sam Curran also had to deal with injuries.

Reigning world champions New Zealand named a 15-man squad for the three-game series, but said Trent Boult and Henry Nicholls may not be in the first test.

Hitter Nicholls is recovering from a calf injury, while fast-paced pitcher Boult is expected to arrive in the UK only on Monday after playing the Indian Premier League final on Sunday.

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