2022 – Ben Stokes: The captain will be a multi-level learning curve for England’s Johnny Bristow

Jonny Bairstow says he doesn’t expect to change Captain Ben Stokes as a player
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Teammate Jonny Bairstow says being the Test England captain would be a “learning curve” for Ben Stokes.

Multi-level Stokes leads the team, with England having only had one win in their last 17 Tests.

Thursday’s first test against New Zealand at Lord’s will be the debut for England’s new captain and manager Brendon McCollum.

“Not much will change for Ben Stokes,” Birstow told BBC Test Match Special.

“The way he goes bowling and hitting is very honest and his leader will be the same.

Stokes preceded the England captain in the first Test against the West Indies in 2020 when former captain Joe Root missed the match to attend the birth of his second child.

He also led the one-day international to a 3-0 win over Pakistan last summer after the Covid outbreak forced England to name a brand new team.

Midfielder Bairstow said England fans need to be patient and look forward to the team’s new era under Stokes as permanent captain.

“It will also be a learning experience for him,” he said.

“We have to understand and acknowledge that there is going to be a learning curve, but the experience he has around him and the vision he has is fantastic.

“If we can all work together in the right direction, it will be an exciting brand for cricket.”

Bairstow played a key role in England’s white ball turnaround under Eoin Morgan that led to their 2019 World Cup win and says a similar transition is on the cards for the Test side.

“This transition has taken some time,” he added. “Everyone realizes that this didn’t happen overnight.

“But that was the way someone had the guts to go, ‘Okay. That’s actually how we’re going to play and we’re going to stick with that. That person was Morges [Eoin Morgan] Which is exciting.”

James Anderson and Stewart Broad grapple in England’s first Test after being disqualified from the West Indies Tour in March, but the hosts are missing eight more players through injury.

Ole Robinson withdrew from the County XI squad on Thursday, which beat New Zealand in a warm-up due to a stiff lower back.

England announced on Monday that Robinson also tested positive for Covid-19 that day and his back injury will be evaluated after his isolation period ends this week.

Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmoud and Matt Fisher are absent due to stress fractures in their backs, while Chris Woks, Mark Wood, Ole Stone and Sam Curran suffer from injuries.

New Zealand named the Reigning Test world champions a 15-man squad for the three-game series, but said Trent Bolt and Henry Nichols may not appear in the first Test.

Peter Nichols is recovering from a calf injury while speed bowler Bolt is not expected to arrive in the UK until Monday after playing in the Indian Premier League final on Sunday.