Ben Stokes will captain England for the first time in next week’s opening Test against the West Indies, taking over from regular skipper Joe Root as he takes time out for the birth of his second child. Root’s wife Carrie is due to give birth later this week and, with the strict protocols in place to ensure the series takes place in a ‘bio-secure’ environment, he will need to be isolated from the group for at least a week on his return from hospital. That means the rubberstamping of Stokes’ temporary promotion at the Ageas Bowl next week, having never before taken the reins in his professional career.
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