Stokes will be brilliant as captain, says Broad

Ben Stokes would have no trouble stepping into the role of England captain if Joe Root were to miss the first test of their three-match series against West Indies, fast bowler Stuart Broad said on Sunday, reports Reuters.

England skipper Root has said he could miss the series opener, scheduled for July 8, if it clashes with the birth of his second child and Broad, 34, believes the side would still be in good hands, with vice-captain Stokes well-equipped to take the reins.

“Stokes will be fine. The toughest part of the job is off the field, lots of extra meetings and planning, which he won’t have to get involved in,” Broad told reporters in a virtual news conference.

“He has a great cricket brain, he has grown and matured over the last few years so captaining one game will be easy. There won’t be much pressure as he’s not being judged over a long period of time. I have no doubts he will be brilliant.”

The three tests will be played in bio-secure venues without fans in attendance as part of protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Broad says he has spoken to sports psychologists to learn ways of dealing with the challenges of playing in empty stadiums. “It will be a mental test... I’ve just got to make sure to train my brain not to get into a negative mindset,” Broad, who has claimed 485 test wickets, said.