Stokes has a great cricket brain: Broad on all-rounder leading England

Veteran England fast-bowler Stuart Broad batted for all-rounder Ben Stokes to lead the side in the first Test against West Indies if regular Test skipper Joe Root ends up missing the clash at Ageas Bowl starting July 8.

The three-Test series between the two teams will mark the resumption of cricket after the sport was suspended in March due to coronavirus pandemic.

Root’s wife is expecting a baby around similar time as the first Test and if Root ends up attending the birth of his second child then he will have to go under mandatory self-isolation before joining the team again.

Broad believes Stokes is well-equipped to captain the team in Root’s absence as he has a ‘good cricketing brain’ and there won’t be any pressure on him considering he will wear the armband for just one match.

“Stokes will be fine. The toughest part of the job is off the field, lots of extra meetings and planning, which he won’t have to get involved in,” Broad told reporters in a virtual news conference as per Sky Sports.

“He has a great cricket brain, he has grown and matured over the last few years so captaining one game will be easy. There won’t be much pressure as he’s not being judged over a long period of time. I have no doubts he will be brilliant.”

Stokes himself seemed to be prepared to lead the team as earlier, he had expressed his readiness to cover for Root. He had even cited the example of legendary partnership between Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen at Chicago Bulls in the NBA to make his point across.

“There is a chance our skipper Joe Root may miss a Test this summer because he and his wife are expecting their second child,” Stokes wrote in his column for The Mirror earlier this month.

“I’m the Scottie Pippen to Joe’s Michael Jordan. It is his team. But what would be the point of asking me to do the job if not for this kind of situation?

“I understand where Joe is taking the team and how he wants to lead it. So although I’ll make my own calls on the field and do the job as I see it as the game evolves, everything else will very much be the same as when Joe is there.”