Joe Root praises captain Ben Stokes for ‘getting the best out of himself as a leader’ but tips his successor to get back to his own form… as England progress to a seventh successive test victory in New Zealand
Joe Root paid tribute to Ben Stokes’ captain after another productive day for England, then insisted that his successor will soon be back to his best.
Root made an unbeaten 153 for Stoke’s final imaginative statement with England at 435 for eight and then saw Jimmy Anderson and Jack Leach take three wickets each as New Zealand crashed to 138 for seven in reply on the second day of the final Test.
But Stokes gave his wicket away all too easily to fall for 27 and looks more determined than ever to slog when he gets to the crease rather than just hitting positively.
But the former England captain believes Stokes more than proves his worth to the new England with his leadership and says he will again contribute with bat and ball when the need arises to get up.
“I think he’s doing a fantastic job of getting the best out of himself as a leader,” Root said after the rain cut short the second day again. “The decisions he makes under pressure, the way he manages the team and his players is as good as I’ve seen.
Joe Root paid tribute to Ben Stokes captain after another productive day for England
“If you look at all the young guys who are doing well at the moment, he definitely brings out the best in them. And he is getting more and more out of the experienced guys.
“There’s no doubt his own performances will come and you know he’s the kind of big game player when there’s going to be a situation where we’re going to run into it and he’s going to step up and deliver. In my opinion it is only a matter of time.’
Root also paid tribute to Harry Brook, who could only add two to his overnight 184, but joined his compatriot from Yorkshire in a record 302 as England ran into trouble at 21 for three on the first morning.
“When you’re around Brooky, he makes it easier,” Root said. “He manages to put pressure on bowlers again, knock them off their length and wrestle the momentum back in your favour.
“As well as I thought I played, much credit must be due to him, because he is almost playing on a different planet, on a completely different surface than everyone else. What skill, what confidence and ability. It’s a joy to watch and I felt like I had the best seat in the house.’
Root has tipped his successor Stokes to find form with both bat and ball when needed