ENG v NZ 2021: Stuart Broad named Joe Root’s deputy for New Zealand Tests in Ben Stokes’ absence

The two-Test series between England and New Zealand will get underway on June 2 at Lord's.

Stuart Broad and Joe Root | GettyVeteran pacer Stuart Broad will perform the role of England’s vice-captain for the two-match Test series against New Zealand in the absence of ace all-rounder Ben Stokes, skipper Joe Root confirmed on Tuesday (June 1).

See Also: Stuart Broad keen to play all 7 Tests this summer; says former selector Ed Smith didn’t rate him

Stokes, Root’s usual deputy, will miss the series due to a finger injury he suffered while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the now-suspended IPL 2021.

While Broad has the experience of leading England in white-ball cricket (3 ODIs and 27 T20Is), he is yet to captain the Test side.

“Stuart has been a senior player for a long time now,” Root told reporters on the eve of the opening Test. “He speaks extremely well, he’s got a very good cricket brain, and captaincy experience within the short format. He’s the right man to take that in Ben and Jos’ absence.

“He’s an integral part as a senior player, and very much a leader within that bowling group. He understands his role within the squad… and sets a very good example to younger players within the group.

“He’s at real peace with his game at the minute. I’m really pleased for him, and it’s a great opportunity for him to take that on.”

Root also informed about the inclusion of uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey in the playing XI for the Lord’s Test, beginning June 2.

Bracey was called up to the squad as Ben Foakes sustained a freak hamstring injury after slipping in the Surrey dressing room. On the other hand, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow have been rested following their IPL stints and subsequent quarantine.

“He has worked extremely hard and been around the squad for a good while now,” Root said. “He has a great work ethic and gone back and performed extremely well for Gloucestershire, so we are really excited to see him take this opportunity.

“We know how good a player he is and he is in great form. It’s a chance for him to embrace and enjoy a great stage of his career.”

(Inputs from Reuters)


By Salman Anjum - 02 Jun, 2021

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