Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Newly appointed England vice-captain Ben Stokes has revealed that he plans to win back the hearts of the fans in order to help them “fall in love with” the national team once again.
Stokes was handed the vice-captaincy after Joe Root replaced Alastair Cook as England’s Test captain.
During Cook’s tenure and the time that his predecessor Andrew Strauss was in charge, people criticised England for not being bold and daring, but Stokes insisted that this is the type of attitude he and Root will look to instill in the Test side.
“We need people to fall in love with it again,” he told Sky Sports. “We need to win but we want to perform in a manner that makes people want to come and watch us.
“Every team goes through transition but I hope we can be influential in taking the team forward. Cooky started us on that path, Rooty was part of that as vice-captain and now we can carry that on.
“We have the same direction of where we want to take the team.”
While most people agree that Root was the best candidate to succeed Cook, some are questioning whether he is experienced and mature enough to handle such a monumental task.
But, Stokes has backed the 26-year-old to shine and believes that Root’s energetic personality will rub off on the entire team.
“I’ve always believed that Rooty was going to be captain,” Stokes said. “He’s the right person and the best person to do it. He’s a colleague but also a close mate and I was chuffed to bits for him. I couldn’t be more pleased for him.
“The biggest thing is having respect of the people you are in charge of. He has that and respect goes a long way.
“Getting the news that I would be his vice-captain made me ecstatic. It’s a real honour, it’s England vice-captain, it’s supporting Rooty, but it’s also the recognition from him and the people at the top of the ECB.
“Everything I do is to win and being vice-captain won’t change me as a person or as a player.
“I want to be involved in all aspects of the game, whether it’s hitting the winning runs or taking the final wicket. I have always wanted to be in the middle of it.
“Being vice-captain I will have to bring a mental and supportive side too. If I am not involved in the game then I will have to add my tactical input.”
Stokes also made it clear that he will not look to assert his authority now that he is Root’s second-in-command.
“I have been more vocal over the last year but I only speak when I think something needs to be said. I’m not one for cliches,” he said. “Just being vice-captain doesn’t give me the right to say whatever I want. There are still some areas I can get better at but hopefully I can improve and we can win more games for England.”