“I’m the Scottie Pippen to Joe’s Michael Jordan” Ben Stokes on Leading the Team in the Absence of Joe Root

Published 06/14/2020, 9:57 AM EDT


England’s test team vice-captain Ben Stokes is ready to lead the team during the test series against West Indies in the absence of current captain Joe Root. Joe and his wife are expecting their second child in the first week of July. Subsequently, cricket will resume in the United Kingdom from July 8 with a three-match test series against West Indies. This also means that Root can miss the first test match as the matches will be played in bio-secure venues. A few days back, Root had suggested that Stokes would be a perfect leader for the England team in his absence. 

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In the same context, Stokes revealed that he is ready to take responsibility if the situation demands. Ben wrote in his Mirror column, “There is a chance our skipper Joe Root may miss a Test this summer because he and his wife are expecting their second child. I’m the Scottie Pippen to Joe’s Michael Jordan. It is his team. But what would be the point of asking me to do the job if not for this kind of situation?”

He added, “I understand where Joe is taking the team and how he wants to lead it. So although I’ll make my own calls on the field and do the job as I see it as the game evolves, everything else will very much be the same as when Joe is there.”

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My motivation has gone up and down: Ben Stokes

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Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there was no game of sports happening anywhere in the world for the past 3 months. This unexpected break was mentally challenging and exhausting for many people. Ben Stokes revealed that it was sometimes difficult to cope up with the situation due to the lack of motivation. However, he is glad that things are returning back to normal. The all-rounder is looking forward to the test series against West Indies. 

Ben said, “I’ve loved the time at home with the family, of course, I have, and that will be the thing I remember fondly about this period. But I’m glad there is a Test series to get ready for. I’m so pleased the West Indies have made it over here. Even though I’ve been training hard physically and kept in good shape, the lockdown hasn’t been plain sailing. Throughout this full 13 weeks, I’ve gone through lots of emotions – some good, some not so good.”

He further added, “My motivation has gone up and down. There have been times when it has been really hard to even think about playing. I’ve had periods where I’ve gone for days without doing a thing because I’ve thought, ‘What’s the point?’ As an athlete, you are so used to getting yourself ready for the next thing.

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“Testing yourself, competing against team-mates and opponents, improving yourself and striving to get better, but when there is nothing lined up ahead of you as was the case, then you need to find motivation somewhere else and that isn’t always easy.”, Stokes concluded. 

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Sakshi Jain

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