Ben Stokes has effortlessly moved into the position and was joined by Brendan McCullum, who has been appointed as England’s new test coach, and the move has proven instantly effective.
New Zealand arrived for their three-match test series in England as the world’s number one test team, and as such, not a great deal was expected from Stokes and his team, but they have duly delivered in quite remarkable circumstances.
A first test was secured as England chased down 277 at Lords, with Root and Stokes putting in the key partnership in their second innings. At Trent Bridge, they were set 299 to win and quite amazingly secured the victory off just 50 overs with Jonny Bairstow and Stokes sharing a superb 179 partnership.
Then in the third test of the series England took things to a whole new level as, once again batting last, they got the 296 needed for the loss of just three wickets and had therefore wiped the floor with New Zealand, and Stokes had a series win in his first as captain.
Then came India in a rearranged test from a previous series, and on his occasion, they successfully completed the highest chase in test cricket, with Root and Bairstow both scoring centuries as England got to their mammoth target of 378 for the loss of just three wickets.
It’s that never say die attitude that epitomises Stokes, and the attack-minded approach is one that mirrors his own batting style, and now they are very much the favourites in the cricket betting for the visit of South Africa for the three test series that will take place in August and September.