According to the reports, all-rounder Ben Stokes will lead the England Test team as Joe Root has stepped down from the job. Root stepped down after his team lost the three-match Test series against the West Indies by 1-0 last month. Talking about the team, they haven’t won a series since early 2021, when they beat Sri Lanka in the latter’s backyard. Since then, they toured India, hosted New Zealand and India at home, and played the Ashes in Australia.
Combining all the series, they have managed to win only two games. After the Ashes drubbing, head coach and selector Chris Silverwood was sacked and it looked like Root would lose his job as well. However, the selectors and the interim director of the England Cricket Board (ECB), Andrew Strauss decided to retain Root as the skipper. Now with Root stepping down from the job, Stokes is set to lead the team.
The all-rounder has led England’s Test and ODI team before. In 2020, he led the England team when Root went on paternity leave for the first game of the three-match Test series against the West Indies. Last year, when a lot of players from the ODI setup including skipper Eoin Morgan was down with COVID19, the left-hander led the team against Pakistan and won the series by 3-0.
According to the reports on The Telegraph, newly-appointed managing Director of the ECB, Rob Key has met the 2019 World Cup winner and the latter has agreed to lead the team. The New Zealand-born player has also asked for the inclusion for pace spearheads, James Anderson and Stuart Broad in the Test team. The duo was excluded from the team for the series against the West Indies.
On the other hand, Key was always vocal about splitting the coaching roles in the Test and white-ball teams while working as an analyst for Sky Sports Cricket. Further reports suggest that Gary Kirsten, who has coached India and South Africa is the front-runner for the Test team coaching alongside Simon Katich.