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England v West Indies: Ben Stokes to be captain for first Test with Joe Root absent


Ben Stokes (left) was reinstated as vice-captain to Root (right) last year

Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time next week after it was confirmed Joe Root will miss the first Test against West Indies to attend the birth of his second child.

Root, 29, will leave England’s training camp in Southampton on Wednesday, with the birth expected later this week.

With the series being held in a bio-secure environment, Root will have to self-isolate for a week after leaving hospital before re-joining the squad.

The first Test begins on 8 July.

On Stokes, England coach Chris Silverwood said: “He is is a talisman, he leads from the front. He’s conscious of the people around him, so I think he’ll do a great job in Rooty’s absence.

“It will be interesting to see what he does, because obviously it is his first time captaining England. We know he has got an aggressive nature, but equally there is a good cricket brain in there as well.

“He will have a lot of say in what is going on and he will play a big part in giving his opinions across the selection as well.”

Root will rejoin the squad on 13 July before the second Test at Old Trafford, which begins on 16 July.

He will also miss the three-day intra-squad warm-up match in Southampton, which begins on Wednesday.

In Root’s absence, Stokes will captain one side and Jos Buttler, who has been confirmed as vice-captain for the first Test, will lead another.

From the 30 men that have been training in Southampton, 27 will…



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