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Root to bat at four in Tests, says new skipper Stokes

England captain Joe Root
England captain Joe Root
Image: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

England's new Test skipper Ben Stokes wants predecessor Joe Root to return to number four in the batting order for the series against New Zealand, a position where he has accumulated over 5,000 runs and notched up 14 centuries.

Root, who resigned from the captaincy after the series defeat against the West Indies, scored two hundreds while batting at three in the Caribbean but Stokes feels that he is more suited to his original position.

“I've already spoken with Joe. I've asked him to go back to four and I'm going to be at six,” Stokes said.

“Wherever Joe bats he gets runs, but his best position is at four. Joe will probably be averaging 90 now instead of 60 so it'll be good.”

Root averages 51.27 at number four compared to 39.67 at three.

“I feel him at four and me at six gives us a bit of experience in that gap. So you can obviously see where the places are opening up for people ... it's three and five,” added Stokes, who smashed 161 off 88 for Durham against Worcestershire in the County Championship this week.

The 30-year-old earlier said that he would recall veteran fast bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were left out of the three-Test series against the West Indies which England lost 1-0.

Stokes' recent appointment is part of a major shake-up in England cricket, with former batsman Rob Key coming in as MD of the men's team after the departure of Ashley Giles.

The first of three Tests against New Zealand gets under way at Lord's on June 2. — Reuters




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