Ben Stokes was appointed Joe Root's vice-captain in Tests last year (Image courtesy: Getty)
Ben Stokes was appointed Joe Root’s vice-captain in Tests last year (Image courtesy: Getty)

England’s Test skipper Joe Root confirmed that there is no guarantee that Ben Stokes will return to the Test side, as is vice-captain. The decision will be taken before the first Test against New Zealand in the ongoing tour.

“That’s a decision we’ve not agreed yet. I think when we get together as a group me and Trevor will discuss a few things but that’s not been discussed yet. All I can say is what I’ve seen of him coming back into the environment and he’s worked his nuts off as we expected him to.

“He’s gone about things exactly how you’d expect a really good professional to do and that sort of standard in training is why you get the performances on the field,” Root was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

Lauds Stokes’ work-ethics

The 27-year-old further applauded his teammates’ work ethic and added, “He worked really hard back home in Durham to make sure when he did get his opportunity to come back and play he was ready. He loves playing for England and you can see that in the way he plays. He leaves nothing out there on the field, he’s really dedicated to this sport and it’s really nice to be able to look back on the last game and see him have such an influence on the result.”

Ben Stokes: 18 lesser-known facts about the New Zealand-born England cricketer
Ben Stokes: 18 lesser-known facts about the New Zealand-born England cricketer

“It’s a testament to just how good a player he actually is, to have such a period out of the game and come straight back and perform how he has shows the skill level of the individual really. It’s good to see him back playing, it really is.”

Stokes was banned from international cricket by ECB after his involvement in the street brawl in Bristol in last September. Having missed the Ashes, the ODI series against Australia and the tri-series T20s Down Under, Stokes is backing in the England colours for the tour of New Zealand.