England retain James Anderson as vice-captain for Test series against Kiwis

The England pacer has been retained as vice-captain in spite of the return of Ben Stokes.

James Anderson
James Anderson and Joe Root of England set the field placements. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

England’s James Anderson, who was named as captain Joe Root’s deputy for the Ashes in Australia earlier this winter, has been retained in his position as the vice-captain for the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand. The 35-year old has been retained ahead of the comeback man Ben Stokes, who was suspended for a brawl in Bristol last September. Before being suspended, it was Stokes who was appointed as England’s Test vice-captain when Root took over from Alastair Cook last year.

Even though he was just the deputy during the Ashes, Anderson had to step up as a captain on the final day in Sydney when Root was suffering from a bug and remained absent from the post-match activities.

Anderson – side’s senior-most player 

Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker for his country and also the senior most member of the team, is delighted to continue in his new role and looking ahead to help Root on the field. He also said that he does not mind continuing in the new role on a long-time basis, provided his services are needed.

“I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series. Certainly, if he needs help on the field, I’m there for him,” Anderson was quoted as saying on standard.co.uk. “It’s an honour that he’s asked me – but I’m not looking further than these two Test matches,” he added.

With the trial still going on, it doesn’t appear that Stokes can resume his vice-captaincy anytime soon. Meanwhile, England will play a two-day pink-ball match against a New Zealand XI in Hamilton tomorrow, which will be followed by another two-day match, with the red ball – on Friday and Saturday.

Stokes, who is troubled with a back pain and Chris Woakes, who is troubled by hamstring niggles, is likely to miss both the warm-up games.