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Ben Stokes set to captain England for first time vs West Indies with Joe Root expecting second child

, Ben Stokes set to captain England for first time vs West Indies with Joe Root expecting second child

BEN STOKES is set to captain England for the first time next week.

Regular skipper Joe Root looks certain to miss the First Test against the West Indies after the birth of his second child.

Ben Stokes is set to captain England with Joe Root due to miss the first Test vs West Indies to attend the birth of his second child

Hailing Stokes, team-mate Stuart Broad said: “I’ve no doubt he will be brilliant at captaining England for this one-off Test match — or two Test matches.

“Stokesy just has a really good cricket brain. He’s someone who’s matured incredibly over the last three or four years.”

Ashes and World Cup hero Stokes has not captained a side since leading Durham’s academy in 2008.

Last year Root’s vice-captain admitted he had no ambition to lead his country because of fears about his workload.

But fast bowler Broad added: “To come in and captain one game, he’ll find that very easy.

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“I don’t think there will be much stress or pressure on him.

“He’s taking over Rooty’s team to make on-field decisions, so I don’t think he’ll struggle.”

Medical protocols mean Root must spend seven days in isolation after his final visits to wife Carrie in hospital.

And with the First Test against West Indies at Old Trafford starting next Wednesday, time is tight.

Broad added: “We’ll encourage Stokesy to make sure he uses his own ability as a player.”

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