Joe Root close to naming Ben Stokes' vice-captain replacement

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Joe Root close to naming Stokes' vice-captain replacement

Sydney, Nov 3: Joe Root hopes to name a new England vice-captain in the coming week with Ben Stokes still a huge doubt for the Ashes.

Stokes has not travelled with the squad to Australia due to an ongoing police investigation following his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm on a night out in Bristol in September.

The star all-rounder was released under investigation without charge, but head coach Trevor Bayliss has written off the possibility of him linking up with the team for the series against Australia.

With Stokes' absence ongoing, Root hopes to have an understudy in place as the first Test - which starts on November 23 at the Gabba - draws nearer.

"Hopefully will happen in the next week or so. Leading into the two four-day games it would be nice to have that nailed down by then," the England skipper told Sky Sports.

"With the experience there is around the dressing room and the approach the other lads have, we help each other out all the time.

"They are very approachable and very good to work with, for me as well. I don't think it's too much of an issue in terms of what it adds to the squad.

"More than anything it's making sure that whoever is vice-captain is fully aware that if I am off the field, they are going to be the one in charge."

Root confirmed Steven Finn (knee) and Moeen Ali (side) would sit out the first warm-up match of the tour – a two-day game against a Western Australia XI at the WACA – and hopes further examinations on Friday will provide positive results.

"Hopefully by late afternoon over here we'll have a good indication of where they're both at and hopefully it's good news," he told the England and Wales Cricket Board's official website.

"They both won't be playing this first game as a result of that and we'll have to make sure they do everything to get themselves right as quickly as possible and hopefully they'll be both fit for that first Test match if required.

"Ben Foakes is the only other one to miss out. We're going to play 13 with those two injuries in mind, just making sure that we share the workload across the board with the ball and making sure it gives everyone an opportunity to put a strong case forward for the next game and for the first Test match.

"It's about getting yourself mentally right for Test cricket and one of the most important things is having that approach of being out there to win the game and to do everything you can to put in a performance that's going to help your side win.

"It's going to be really important that we have that and that sort of ruthless edge to our cricket and ruthless approach whether it be with the bat or the ball."

Source: OPTA

Story first published: Friday, November 3, 2017, 17:30 [IST]
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