England's all-time successful Test bowler James Anderson has managed to edge out fellow cricketer Ben Stokes for the role of vice-captain. Though the appointment is currently being made on a series-by-series basis it seems likely that Anderson will keep the job at least until the conclusion of Stokes' court case.
Even though Stokes is back to playing international cricket, his case is still pending a judgment following the incident in Bristol last September. The judgement is set for August 6 and is expected to last between five and seven days, meaning the allrounder will miss the Lord's Test against India. Having removed the vice-captaincy from him in the current situation it is very unlikely he will be considered again until the outcome of the legal case is known and also the Cricket Disciplinary Commission process that will follow.
Anderson took over the role from Stokes in the recently concluded Ashes series which England lost against arch-rivals Australia. With Stokes missing the Test series and Jos Buttler donning the vice captain's role in the ODI series against New Zealand, this will be the first time that Root and Bayliss will have to pass a decision on him in his presence since his return.
Bayliss recently praised Anderson's seniority as a player and his importance in the side. Given his seniority, it was a logical choice for him to continue and he can now also expect to have the job against Pakistan and India in the summer.
Anderson expressed his happiness over his appointment saying "I'm delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series," Anderson told the BBC. "It doesn't change my role in the team a huge amount. I see myself as a senior player and I'm there for people if they need advice. Certainly, if Joe needs help on the field, I'm there for him.
"It's a big group effort when we go on the field, so it's important that we get that right," he said. "Again in the dressing-room, it's trying to get people relaxed and ready to play Test cricket.It's not just my job; it's Joe's, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad have plenty of experience, and the coaches as well who have been around the block. It's our job to help out where we can and try to help this team progress."
England's next big challenge will be to correct a disastrous overseas record in recent times where they have lost 9 out of their 12 Tests played. This includes a 4-0 Ashes series loss against Australia earlier this year.