ENG vs NZ: England captain Ben Stokes wants his side to ‘feel free’ under his captaincy ahead of New Zealand clash
ENG vs NZ: As James Anderson and Stuart Broad were recalled for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s starting on Thursday, England’s new captain Ben Stokes said he wants his side to ‘feel free’ under his leadership.
With England on a terrible record of one win in 17 Tests. Stokes has taken over as captain from Joe Root.
“I just want everyone to feel free under my captaincy,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Stokes as saying.
“Obviously there has been talked around the word ‘reset’, which is something I don’t particularly like. I just see this as a complete and utter blank canvas for this Test team going forward,” he added.
“We have got so much experience in that dressing room, with myself, Joe, Broady, Jimmy, Jonny [Bairstow], and at the other end we’ve younger lads with inexperience, but this is our time. We are going to dictate how things go, going forward. There is nothing on this blank canvas. Everyone is starting fresh now, whether you are Matt Potts or Stuart Broad or Jimmy Anderson,” Stokes added.
Matthew Potts, 23, selected after a strong start to the county season for Durham. When he took 35 wickets in his first six County Championship matches.
“Obviously he’s a Durham lad – there’s no bias there. I’ve got to know him over the years at Durham, and he has been outstanding in the games I have played, and even before that – he has been the guy that Scott Borthwick [their captain] has turned to take the wickets,” Stokes said.
The England captain counts on the support of Joe Root, who is back in the ranks for the first time since 2016, having led England.
“He says he is always going to be there, offering support and stuff like that. But he also said he doesn’t want to feel like he’s getting in the way,” Stokes said.
“He just wants to let me be me. And I said the same to him: ‘Mate, just concentrate on your batting now. You don’t have all the extra responsibility on your shoulders. Don’t feel like you have to come to me, just concentrate on getting your runs. And I will come to you when I need some advice,’ he added.
On June 2, the first Test between England and New Zealand will begin at Lord’s Cricket Ground.