The England and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been confirmed as England’s new Test captain and will be firmly in place ahead of their next Test which comes at the beginning of June against New Zealand.
Joe Root announced his resignation from the role on Good Friday after leading the side to just one win in the last 17 Test matches.
The Yorkshireman had been England’s most successful captain with more Test wins than any other but the time had come for a change after a 4-0 Ashes defeat and 1-0 West Indies series defeat.
His successor has long been an English cricketing hero but the lows are not unknown to him either.
Stokes recently took time away from the game to focus on recovering from an ongoing finger injury as well as to prioritise his mental health.
In September, the 30-year-old announced he would be taking a break and returned to help see England through yet another soul-crushing series in Australia. He then went on to score his first century since his return during England’s second Test match against the West Indies knocking up 120 from just 128 balls - his first century since the death of his father in 2020.
With a few weeks to go before seeing the Ashes and World Cup hero in action, let’s take a look at some of the highs and lows that have shaped Ben Stokes into becoming England’s 81st permanent captain:
1. Maiden Test Hundred - December 2013
The maiden Test hundred has to be a key moment for a cricketer. England ultimately lost the game and the Ashes but Stokes scored 120 from 195 at just 22-years-old against an Australian attack containing Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon. This would be the first of 10 centuries the new Test captain has scored as of April 2022.
2. Locker punch before T20 World Cup 2014
Back in 2014, Ben Stokes’ international career faced a serious hurdle - led him to miss an opportunity to firmly establish himself on the world stage. Stokes had been picked for the T20 World Cup but fell to a first-ball dismissal in Barbados on the eve of the tournament. He proceeded to punch a locker, fracturing his hand. He was then ruled out of the rest of the tournament and called it a ‘huge error in judgement’.
3. Fastest Test Century at Lord’s - 2015
Stokes scored the fastest ever Test century seen at Lord’s back in 2015, in a match against New Zealand. He had been just six runs short of a century in the first innings, but rectified this situation by hitting a stunning 101 off 92 balls in the second and set up a victory of 124-runs. Not only did he hit the fastest century at the ground, but also picked up 3-38 with the ball in the same match.
4. Double Hundred v South Africa 2016
Not only has Stokes hit the fastest century at Lord’s but he has also hit the fastest double hundred by an Englishman. Stokes has hit just one double hundred in his time and did so in phenomenal style by knocking 258 off just 198 balls. During an England Test match against South Africa in Cape Town, he shared a world record sixth-wicket stand with Jonny Bairstow as the pair put on a partnership of 399, showcasing his destructive abilities with the bat by hitting 11 sixes and 30 fours to reach his total.