Ben Stokes Takes Over as England’s New Test Captain

After rumours continually circulated over the future of England’s test captaincy, it has finally been confirmed that, as we all thought would be the case, the leadership has been assigned to Ben Stokes. Now, cricket fans and cricket betting fans, not just in England but across the world have something to get their teeth into again. Rob Key, the Managing Director of England’s men’s cricket said that Stokes ‘epitomises the mentality and approach’ that can take the team forward. 

An Honour

Rob Key, who himself is new to his role as Managing Director of Men’s Cricket, met with Stokes at the end of April and they both agreed that he was the best man for the job. In response to this new position, Stokes said that he is ‘honoured’ to be named the new captain. However, he wasted no time in thanking his predecessor, Joe Root, for the massive role he played in helping to develop as a leader. He described Root as being a massive part of his development as a leader in the dressing room. He went on to say that Root will still be a key ally as he takes on this new position.

Key declared that he had absolutely no hesitation in offering the leadership to Stokes – as he embodies everything the team needs to take them forward into the next era of the game. Stokes has long been a loud voice within the team dressing room and has always been the person that teammates have turned to and followed. As such, there is no doubt he will be a strong leader, with a great cricket brain – and lots of empathy. 

A Busy Workload

Stoke is a key player for England in all the cricketing formats. As such, this new role means that his workload needs to be managed effectively, which means that there may be times when he plays less white-ball cricket. Rob Key said that they need to prioritise the times where they think he will need to play. They need they focus his main attention, right now, on Test cricket.

Given their recent performances, Test cricket right now needs to be everyone’s main focus. They have to start getting their best side out playing – and it’s as simple as that. 

His first game in charge of the team will be against New Zealand in the opening Test at Lord’s from 2nd June 2022. This will be the first game in a three match Test series, which will continue at Trent Bridge on 10th June and then finish at Clean Slate Headingley on 23rd June.

He will also lead the way this summer when England faces India and South Africa. He will be looking to improve on their embarrassing run of recent results that has seen the team lose 11 and win just 1 of their last 17 games.

It all came to a head with the team’s 4-0 loss against Australia in the Ashes – a result that cost the team’s Head Coach, Chris Silverwood and Managing Director, Ashley Giles, their jobs. Just a few weeks later, Joe Root quit his role as captain, after the team’s subsequent 1-0 loss in the West Indies in March.

A Role Ripe for the Taking

Stokes has already had some experience within this role, having Captained England for one Test in the summer of 2020, which resulted in a 4-0 loss against the West Indies, whilst Joe Root was away on paternity leave.

The all-rounder also led England to a 3-0 One Day International win over Pakistan last summer at home, after he took the reins when the Covid 19 pandemic outbreak meant that they had to choose a completely new team.

In 2021, Ben Stokes took a four-month hiatus from the sport in order to look after his mental health and wellbeing – as well as recover from an injury to his finger that he received when playing for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL that year.

This means that he missed England’s lead up to the T20 World Cup semi-finals in the UAE. He did make a return for the Ashes tour, however, scoring 236 runs including two half-centuries and taking four wickets across five tests. He then hit an incredible 11th Test century in the second Test against the West Indies. Despite this, the team still suffered a 10-wicket defeat in the last game. It was that loss that marked Root’s last game as captain- and Stokes now has the challenge of reviving the team’s winning fortunes.

An English Success Story

Stokes has had a lot of success as an England player. He has been capped 79 times at Test level, scoring a total of 5,061 runs and taking 174 wickets. Now 30 years old, he made his Test debut in the 2013/14 Ashes tour – scoring his first Test century in just his second game. This is exciting for all – Stokes, the England cricket team and of course cricket betting fans across England and the world, that now have something to hope for.