Joe Root praises captain Ben Stokes for ‘bringing the best of himself as a leader’ but suggests his successor return to his own form… as England progress to a seventh consecutive Test win in New Zealand
Joe Root paid tribute to Ben Stokes’ captaincy after another productive day for England and then insisted his successor would soon return to his best form.
Root made an unbeaten 153 before Stokes’ last imaginative statement with England at 435 for eight and then saw Jimmy Anderson and Jack Leach take three wickets apiece as New Zealand fell to 138 for seven in reply on the second day of the final Test .
But Stokes gave up his wicket too easily again to drop to 27 and seems more determined than ever to hit hard when he comes to the crease rather than just bat positively.
But the former England captain believes Stokes is more than proving his worth to New England with his leadership and says he will again contribute bat and ball when the need arises for him to step up.
“I think he’s doing a brilliant job of getting the best out of himself as a leader,” said Root after the rain eased again on day two. “The decisions he is making under pressure, the way he is managing the team and his players are the best I have ever seen.
Joe Root paid tribute to Ben Stokes’ captaincy after another productive day for England
‘You look at all the young people who are thriving right now and he’s certainly getting the best out of them. And he’s taking more and more away from experienced guys.
‘There’s no doubt his own performances will come and you know he’s the big game type of player when there’s going to be a situation where we’re up against it and he’s going to stand up and deliver. It’s just a matter of time in my eyes.
Root also paid tribute to Harry Brook, who could only add two to his 184 overnight, but joined his Yorkshire teammate at a record stand of 302 when England were in trouble at 21 for three on first morning.
“Whenever you’re in trouble with Brooky at the moment, he’s making it easy for you,” Root said. ‘He manages to put the pressure back on the pitchers, hit them and get the momentum back in his favor.
“Also, I thought I gave him a lot of credit because he’s almost playing on a different planet, on a completely different surface than everyone else. So much skill, so much confidence and skill. It’s a joy to watch and I felt like I had the best seat in the house.’
Root advised his successor Stokes to find form with bat and ball when necessary.