On the eve of the first Test against New Zealand, England skipper Joe Root has confirmed that Stuart Broad will be his deputy, in the absence of the regular vice-captain Ben Stokes. Stokes, alongside other star England players like Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, are rested from the series to spend time away from the bio-bubble environment after returning from IPL 2021.
This is the first time Stuart Broad has been slotted in for a leadership role in Test cricket. He earlier led England in three ODIs, between 2011 and 2014. He was also England’s T20I captain briefly, leading them in 27 T20Is, including the 2014 T20 World Cup.
"Stuart has been a senior player within this group for a long time now," said Root in the press conference on Tuesday.
"He speaks extremely well, he's got a very good cricket brain and he's got captaincy experience in the short format. He's the right man to take that on in Ben and Jos' absence. He's an integral part as a senior player and very much a leader within that bowling group. It's a great opportunity for him to take that on.
"In our sport, you have to be able to deal with setbacks and have to be able to come back and respond well to that. It's part and parcel of the professional game but he's done it exceptionally well. You don't play as many games as he has and have the record he does without having some difficult moments in your career, and a lot of the time it's how you respond to them. He's always done that extremely well and that's why he's such a wonderful player and one of the best players in the world”, explained Root further.
Root also confirmed a Test debut for the 24-year old from Gloucestershire, James Bracey as the wicketkeeper-batsman. However, there was news no news from him around other slots - the third seamer and Jack Leach’s spot.
"We haven't quite got that clarity as to exactly what we want to go in with yet in terms of the balance of the side and how that looks," he said. "When you're missing a pivotal allrounder like Ben Stokes and the other allrounders that have been round the squad for the last couple of years, it does change things slightly, and we're going to have to look at doing things slightly differently. That provides a great opportunity for others to come in and show their worth."