England allrounder Ben Stokes, who will return to the longest format of cricket in the two-Test series against New Zealand from next Thursday in Auckland, will not take up the vice-captaincy role for the team. The 26-year old, who will be playing his first Test since the drunken brawl incident outside a nightclub in Bristol last September, will be replaced by veteran seamer James Anderson, who has held the role in his absence during the Ashes in December.
The 35-year old fast bowler, who was praised by coach Trevor Bayliss for his performance last week, spoke to BBC and said that he was delighted when skipper Joe root approached him to continue with the role.
“I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series. It doesn’t change my role in the team a huge amount,” the right-armer said. He further went on to add that he will help the players on the field when they need any advice. “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,” he said.
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The fast bowler, who has played 134 Tests for his country, added that as a senior player, it is his duty to help his captain in the middle. “It’s a big group effort when we go on the field, so it’s important that we get that right. 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,” he said.
England went on to win the 5-match ODI series by 3-2 against New Zealand. The series marked the return of Stokes in England colours and paved his way back to the team.