Joe Root also confirms James Bracey will make Test debut as England’s wicketkeeper
James Anderson also has experience as vice-captain, having filled the role during the 2017-18 tours to Australia and New Zealand, but England have instead opted to give Broad the role for this series. Broad has some experience of captaining England, leading them in 27 T20Is and three ODIs between 2011 and 2014, but this is his first official leadership role in the Test side.
“Stuart has been a senior player within this group for a long time now,” Root said. “He speaks extremely well, he’s got a very good cricket brain and he’s got captaincy experience in the short format. He’s the right man to take that on in Ben and Jos’ absence. He’s an integral part as a senior player and very much a leader within that bowling group. It’s a great opportunity for him to take that on.
“He’s at real peace with his game at the minute. He’s got a really good understanding of how he’s going to operate. He obviously is very comfortable and understands his role within the squad and the team and knows what’s required of him, and sets a very good example to younger players within the group.
“In our sport, you have to be able to deal with setbacks and have to be able to come back and respond well to that. It’s part and parcel of the professional game but he’s done it exceptionally well. You don’t play as many games as he has and have the record he does without having some difficult moments in your career, and a lot of the time it’s how you respond to them. He’s always done that extremely well and that’s why he’s such a wonderful player and one of the best players in the world.”
Broad’s appointment as vice-captain acts as confirmation that he will not be rested for Wednesday’s first Test, and while Root stopped short of saying that he would definitely play in the second Test, he appears likely to do so.
“We’ll have to wait and see because you don’t know how this game is going to go but it certainly gives him a better chance,” Root said. “If there are injuries or anything then you just never know, but it’s a great opportunity for him to take that on, and hopefully it means he can get a run in the team.”
“We haven’t quite got that clarity as to exactly what we want to go in with yet in terms of the balance of the side and how that looks,” he said. “When you’re missing a pivotal allrounder like Ben Stokes and the other allrounders that have been round the squad for the last couple of years, it does change things slightly, and we’re going to have to look at doing things slightly differently. That provides a great opportunity for others to come in and show their worth.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98