Saturday, June 25, 2022

Every England player has a ‘blank canvas’ under Stokes’ captaincy.

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Ben Stokes insists every England player will be handed a “blank canvas” when he begins his captaincy at Lord’s this week.

Stokes will lead his country against New Zealand on Thursday after inheriting the job from Joe Root and is hoping to make an immediate impact on a side that have won just once in their last 17 games.

And the all-rounder made it clear that this is a new beginning for everyone involved.

“There’s been a lot of talk about a ‘reset,’ which is a word I don’t like,” he said. “I just see it as a completely blank canvas. I just want everyone to feel free under my captain.

“This is our time and we will decide what happens next. Everyone starts fresh, whether it’s Matty Potts or James Anderson and Stuart Broad.”

Stokes’ Durham team-mate Matthew Potts has made his Test debut after being picked ahead of Craig Overton.

“He excelled in the games I played. It wasn’t easy for Bowler and he created things from nothing,” he said.

“The thing that reminded me of Pottsy was when he bowled us to victory against Glamorgan. He emerged with a slightly stiff side that when Test selection loomed he could have just sat back and said, “I’ll take care of myself,” but he didn’t. He ran in and won the game for us.

“It’s the attitude that opens your eyes. This kid is an athlete and everything I expect from this team to move forward.

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