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29 Jan 2020, Edition - 1660, Wednesday

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England keep Ben Stokes in the ranks for Test series against New Zealand


Jimmy Anderson to continue as England vice-captain

Anderson: ‘I’m delighted Joe Root has asked me to do it again’

Ben Stokes will resume his Test career among the ranks after the England management opted to retain Jimmy Anderson as the vice-captain for the two-match series in New Zealand.

Anderson fulfilled the role during the Ashes defeat when Stokes was unavailable for selection but, though the all-rounder is back in the fold before his trial that starts on 6 August, Joe Root’s deputy will be unchanged when the first Test gets under way in Auckland next Thursday.

“I’m delighted Joe has asked me to do it again,” Anderson told BBC Sport. “It doesn’t change my role in the team a huge amount. I see myself as a senior player and, if Joe needs help on the field, I’m there for him.”

Stokes played all five matches of the recent 3-2 one-day series win over New Zealand in what was his international comeback, having been missing from the England squad owing to his arrest in Bristol on 25 September.

A back niggle means Stokes was expected to miss the first of England’s two-day warm-up matches that begins in the early hours of Wednesday in Hamilton – a pink-ball fixture to prepare for the floodlit first Test – but he is expected to be fit for the second that begins on Friday.

Chris Woakes and Craig Overton are also expected to be rested because of respective hamstring and quad issues, although the two seamers are similarly not considered major doubts for the final leg of England’s epic winter schedule.

Root’s side will be looking to arrest a disturbing run of results that has seen them lose nine of their past 11 Tests overseas, including 4-0 defeats at the hands of India and Australia.

On the latter Anderson said: “I don’t think we were far away. I know the scoreline says 4-0 and it looks like we got thrashed but in each Test I don’t think we were that far away.

“We got ourselves into games at certain times and it was a bad half-hour or an hour here and there that really cost us the games we lost. I think that’s the learning curve for us.”

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