Ben Stokes explains why he feels he’s best man for job of England Test captain

Ben Stokes says he is “honoured” to be handed England’s Test captaincy and has already made it clear that fast bowling greats James Anderson and Stuart Broad are part of his plans.

Stokes inherits the role from Joe Root, who quit earlier this month after five years and a record 64 games in the job, and has been charged with reinvigorating the fortunes of a red-ball side that has managed just one victory in its last 17 attempts.

The 30-year-old all-rounder served as Root’s deputy, leading the side once before in 2020 to become England’s 81st Test captain, and was the overwhelming favourite to take charge as soon as the vacancy appeared.

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Stokes has been a loyal lieutenant to Root and made a point of praising his friend and predecessor in a short statement.

FROM ME, TO YOU: Ben Stokes (left) is the man chosen to succeed Joe Root (right) as captain of England's Test match team. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

“I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege and I’m excited about getting started this summer,” he said.

“I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket. He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room and he will still be a key ally for me.”

Stokes was chosen by the ECB’s new men’s managing director Rob Key, who travelled to Durham for face-to-face talks that left him in no doubt about his readiness to accept the challenge.

“It was an easy decision, but it would have been a lot tougher obviously if he wasn’t keen,” said Key. “He’s not someone with a massive ego. He genuinely thinks he’s the best person to lead England forward and I agree.”

Rob Key, Managing Director of England Men's Cricket Picture: Adam Davy/PA