Stokes backs under-fire England skipper Root

Joe Root (Getty Images)
Joe Root (Getty Images)

Cape Town - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has come out in defence of captain Joe Root, who has been criticised following the crushing first Test defeat to New Zealand.

England were outplayed in every department as the Black Caps claimed an innings and 65 run victory in the first Test in Mount Maunganui.

It places further pressure on Root, who has a dismal away form as captain and has experienced a drop in form with the bat since taking over from Alastair Cook in 2017.

But Stokes insists the squad still have full faith in their skipper.

"He's fine. He's Joe Root, he is England captain - there's no one else to do it," Stokes told Sky Sports.

"He knows he's got the backing of everyone in the changing room, the backroom staff and management. That's the main thing that counts for us as players. We're a tight-knit group and everyone knows that everyone in that changing room 100 per cent backs him, as I do."

Stokes bemoaned the fact that the English batsmen had failed to convert starts in to big scores and believes this is something they will have to rectify in the second Test starting in Hamilton on Thursday.

"We know that if we encounter a pitch like this again we know how important runs on the board are," Stokes added.

"Three-hundred-and-fifty didn't quite cut it. If a wicket like that presents itself again, 500 is what we need to get.

"We need to take the opportunity to assess where the game is and understanding that it's a flat wicket and if you're the person in, take the responsibility to turn starts in to 150s and 200s like BJ [Watling] managed to do for New Zealand."

- TeamTalk Media

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