ENG vs NZ 2022: Scott Styris on how he rates Ben Stokes as England’s Test skipper

Scott Styris feels it is too early to rate Ben Stokes‘ performance as England‘s Test skipper.

Stokes took over the England captaincy from Joe Root ahead of the ongoing Test series against New Zealand. The all-rounder has earned plaudits from many cricket experts for bringing a positive brand of cricket into the England Test setup, which helped them chase down more than 275-run fourth-innings targets in the first two games against the Kiwis.

During an interaction on Sports 18, Scott Styris was asked to rate Stokes as captain. He replied:

“I think it’s still way too early to tell. I am not fully sold yet. Two matches with New Zealand, two wins, everything is going well, it’s smooth sailing, blue skills, all the analogies of fantastic, everything in your favor type cricket at the moment.”

The former New Zealand all-rounder pointed out that the real test of Stokes’ captaincy will be in alien conditions. Styris explained:

“What happens when things don’t quite go so well, that’s what we are waiting to see with Ben Stokes. What about foreign conditions, everything with the Dukes ball in England says Broad and Anderson are going to do well. What happens when they go to India, what happens when they go to Australia, so much to tell.”

England suffered a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Australia in the last Ashes and were handed a 3-1 defeat in the away Test series against India last year. Stokes’ biggest examination as England’s Test skipper could be in next year’s Ashes, although the series will be played on home soil.

“I think they sing from the same song sheet” – Scott Styris on the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum combination

Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum want England to play an entertaining brand of cricket
Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum want England to play an entertaining brand of cricket

While observing that Stokes and Brendon McCullum complement each other very well, Scott Styris concluded by reiterating that it is premature to form an opinion about the former as a Test skipper. He observed:

“I think Ben Stokes will be aggressive, he will be led by Brendon McCullum, who is fantastic. I think they sing from the same song sheet, which is such an important thing, but I think it’s still way too early to tell what sort of captain he is going to be.”

After the ongoing third Test against New Zealand, England will face Team India in the rescheduled final game of their five-match Test series. Stokes will hope to maintain the winning momentum and draw level in the Pataudi Trophy, in which they currently trail by a 2-1 margin.

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Edited by Sai Krishna