ENG v WI 2020: Stuart Broad expects Ben Stokes to do a brilliant job as England captain

Regular skipper Joe Root might miss the series opener against West Indies if it clashes with the birth of his second child.

Ben Stokes could be required to lead England in Joe Root's absence | AFPEngland pacer Stuart Broad feels Ben Stokes would have no trouble stepping into the role of England captain if Joe Root misses out on the Test series opener against West Indies, starting July 8 in Southampton.

See Also: Nasser Hussain feels "fighter" Ben Stokes has "very similar characteristics" to Virat Kohli

Regular skipper Root is expecting the birth of his second child next month, which could see him miss the first Test to remain with his wife Carrie.

"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 on Sunday (June 28).

"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 series will mark the return of international cricket after a lengthy COVID-19 hiatus and all three games will be played behind closed doors.

Broad understands the challenges of playing in empty stadiums. Hence, he has spoken to sports psychologists to learn ways of dealing with it.

"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.

"...There might be times when the minds of players drift but we need to make sure we are as engaged as possible."

Racism has become a topic of debate following the killing of George Floyd – a 46-year-old African-American, who died in Minneapolis last month after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for several minutes.

Leading West Indies cricketers had already expressed their fury over the incident and voiced their support for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. England are also considering joining West Indies in an anti-racism protest.

Broad said it is important to educate people on matters of racial equality.

"It's been good to open the conversation with everyone. People can admit that maybe their views were different in the past. It's now about moving forward," he concluded.

(Inputs from Reuters)



By Salman Anjum - 29 Jun, 2020

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