James Anderson and Stuart Broad have recalled for England’s Test series against Zealand, while uncapped duo Harry Brook and Matty Potts were named in the squad on Wednesday.

Broad and Anderson were omitted for the 1-0 series defeat against West Indies in the Caribbean following the 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

But the experienced seam duo are in the first squad under new captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum, with the opening match of the series against the Black Caps starting at Lord's on June 2.

Yorkshire batter Brook and Durham paceman Potts have been handed maiden call-ups after impressive starts to the County Championship seamer.

Brook, who made his T20 debut for England in the Caribbean earlier this year, has an incredible average of 151.60 in the County Championship this season, while Potts is the leading wicket-taker with 35 and claimed 7-40 in a win over Glamorgan last time out.

With former captain Joe Root batting at number four, Ollie Pope is set to come in at number three in the order.

"This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon," managing director of men’s cricket Rob Key stated.

"With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series.

"We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level.

"It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side.

"It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country."

England Test Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook,, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matty Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root.

New England Test head coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes must challenge each other to transform the country's red-ball fortunes, says Nasser Hussain.

McCullum has been tasked with fixing the failings in the five-day game of England, who will be captained by Stokes after Joe Root resigned in April following a run of one win in 17 Tests.

Former opener and now England men's managing director Rob Key has entrusted McCullum with the Test side despite all the 40-year-old's coaching experience coming within white-ball franchise cricket.

McCullum has coached Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders and their Caribbean Premier League affiliate Trinbago Knight Riders, but has playing experience in Test cricket with New Zealand.

Indeed, McCullum captained New Zealand's red-ball side through a transformative period and played in 101 Tests for his country.

Former England captain Hussain believes he and Stokes can take England in a different direction.

"It's a bold, brave, exciting decision," Hussain told Sky Sports.

"It's a little bit left field, I think most people expected maybe a Brendon McCullum type to come into the white-ball team and work with his mate Eoin Morgan and possibly somebody with more experience in red-ball cricket like a Gary Kirsten come in for the Test match format.

"But Rob Key sees it differently, I think both Stokes and McCullum are cut from the same cloth and Key has that sort of idea that he wants a positive captain and positive coach taking the team in a new direction and McCullum definitely fits that bill.

"That captain-coach relationship - they do have to sing off the same hymn sheet, they have to both constantly be working together.

"They also have to challenge each other, I'll be perfectly honest.

"It's not a case of Stokes and McCullum always agreeing with each other. It's also how you describe positive cricket really, it's not reckless cricket.

"I nearly picked Rob Key up on this the other day, he talked about brand of cricket, he wants England to play a positive brand of cricket.

"I think England fans and myself want to see England play a winning brand of cricket, however that's done, go out and start winning Test matches. If it is positive and exciting, double bonus. But winning is the most important thing.

"It's hugely exciting, to have Stokes as your captain, McCullum as your coach, it will be a very exciting few months and years ahead."

McCullum and Stokes' first task sees the pair host the country of their birth, New Zealand, in a three-Test series that starts on June 2.

Joe Root captaining England "at the most horrendous time" for his side in Test cricket is "one of the great sporting achievements", according to new men's managing director Rob Key.

Root succeeded Alastair Cook as red-ball captain in 2017 and resigned last April after a torrid run of one win in 17 Tests, with a 1-0 series defeat to West Indies the final straw.

Yorkshireman Root still delivered remarkable returns with the bat in 2021, despite England's struggles, scoring 1,708 runs in 15 matches, including two double centuries and a further four tons.

Only Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (1,788 in 2006) and West Indies legend Viv Richards (1,710 in 1976) have ever managed more in a single calendar year.

Key, tasked with transforming English cricket in his new role, appointed Ben Stokes as the new skipper of the Test side but was quick to credit Root for his efforts during a tumultuous period.

"I remember just thinking: Oh, my God. Joe Root. How well has he done?," Key told Sky Sports. "We obviously know he's had a great year but he has had that year when he was doing everything as well it seemed.

"There was so much put on his shoulders. He was trying to be the ambassador for the England team that he is as a captain, and in a team that was struggling and the way that he was playing and what he was able to do. It's honestly one of the great achievements.

"Statistically it will just look in history as 'He got this amount of runs and he did this and he was this as a captain', but it won't actually say in there, 'Oh, and by the way, it was the most horrendous time to be an England cricketer, where you are under so much pressure and the captain was the lone man doing it all'.

"It's one of the great sporting achievements. And as well for him to then now seem to have somehow parked it all to some degree and he's like, right, what do you need? How do we move on from here? How can I help Ben? We probably don't realise how lucky we are to have him."

 

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have 1,177 Test wickets between them but were surprise omissions for the tour of West Indies, as Root travelled with a new-look side under the interim stewardship of Paul Collingwood.

However, Key and Stokes have both made it clear that England plan to reintroduce the pair for the three-Test series against New Zealand, which starts on June 2 at Lord's.

Key also acknowledged why Broad and Anderson were left out of the squad, even if he would not have done the same thing.

"I don't look at everything as just black or white, I always look at the reason," Key said. "I always thought this as a pundit; if there's logic behind what they're doing to some degree, then fine, I can understand why people are doing it.

"There was no logic to me when England in the World Cup in 2015, dropped Alastair Cook and then brought in Gary Ballance. There's no part of me that can understand why you would do that.

"But there's part of me that can understand with Broad and Anderson away from home, getting on a bit as well when you wanted to try and find out about other people. I can understand that. It doesn't mean that I would have done it – but I've shown now that they've come back."

New England Test captain Ben Stokes smashed a brutal 161 for Durham against Worcestershire in his first County Championship appearance of the season.

Star all-rounder Stokes was named as Joe Root's successor at the end of April, and has been charged with turning around England's fortunes – the red-ball national side winning just one of their last 17 Tests.

Opting to spend some time in the middle before England host New Zealand in a three-Test series, which starts on June 2 at Lord's, Stokes found his form in remarkable fashion on Friday.

Stokes joined David Bedingham at the crease at New Road after Scott Borthwick was trapped in front by Ben Gibbon, and blasted through a shell-shocked Worcestershire attack to reach his century before lunch.

The 30-year-old targeted young off-spinner Josh Baker, launching five sixes in his 20th over to reach a 64-ball ton before narrowly missing out on a sixth straight maximum with a one-bounce boundary.

While Stokes fell short of Garfield Sobers' elusive six maximums in an over, he posted the fastest first-class century in Durham's history, surpassing England interim coach Paul Collingwood's record (75 balls).

Stokes returned for the afternoon session by clearing the ropes for a 17th time to achieve a County Championship record, while only four players have hit more sixes in any first-class innings.

However, the England skipper then miscued a Brett D'Oliveira delivery to be caught on the boundary by Jack Haynes as his magnificent 161 from just 88 balls came to an end.

Durham declared on 580-6 soon after following Bedingham being dismissed for 135.

Ben Stokes is happy to call on Joe Root's advice as the all-rounder prepares to lead England's Test side.

Root was appointed as successor to England great Alastair Cook in 2017 and went on to win 27 red-ball matches while in charge of the team, which is a record.

However, Root also holds the record for the most red-ball defeats while captain of his country (26) and England have won only one of their past 17 Tests and are winless in five series in the longest format. 

That dismal run of form, capped by a 1-0 series defeat to West Indies earlier this year, resulted in Root stepping down in April.

England are also without a coach, with Chris Silverwood having left his post following a 4-0 hammering in the Ashes, though former batsman Rob Key has now been appointed as the new managing director.

Root, whose own form was superb in 2021 as he scored 1,708 runs across 29 innings at an average of 61 and a strike rate of 56.85, is nevertheless set to remain a prominent member of England's Test team, and Stokes is pleased to have someone he hailed as a "great man" by his side.

 

"Joe phoned me before it became public about his decision. It was a very brief chat, it was probably not the right time to start reminiscing about everything while he was on the phone," Stokes said in an interview posted to the England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) official website.

"And then I phoned him before it became public that I'd taken it because I didn't want him to see it on social media.

"When Joe took over, I was made vice-captain, it was a really exciting time.

"I think there's a handful of players who I think will have respect after the game. Every player who's played under him, players in the future as well, will see what a great man he is. He's a real carer of people that he plays with.

"Our friendship goes beyond just being team-mates, we've known each other since we were 14 years old.

"I'm looking forward to working with him in a different capacity but I'll also be using him a lot because I've got a lot to learn about being captain."

While Stokes is aware that England's Test team needs a refresh after their poor run, his immediate priority is simple.

"I just want to win games," he said. "At the end of the day being a captain is about winning games, that's what you get judged on.

"Obviously you've got to mould the team, create a winning mentality, which you need to have at the top level, but my main goal, I think my duty is to win as many games as possible. That's my main goal."

Stokes' first matches in charge come in June, when England host New Zealand in a three-Test series.

Ben Stokes' first aim as England Test captain is to help his players forget what has gone on in the past as they look to move on from a miserable run.

England have won only one of their past 17 Test matches and are winless in five series, leading to skipper Joe Root stepping down last month.

Superstar all-rounder Stokes was appointed in Root's place and now has the task of getting the team back on track.

He starts without a head coach, with Stokes acknowledging on Wednesday – as he addressed the media as captain for the first time – there has been "a lot of speculation and a lot of names".

The Durham man is "sure" he will have a role in that appointment, but for now the focus is on the "huge honour" of leading his country in a first Test against New Zealand at Lord's at the start of June.

"That [poor form] is obvious and something that we can't shy away from," Stokes said.

"One thing I feel like I've got to do is to get everyone not focusing on what's gone on in the past. We want to turn it around, so it's all about the future and what we've got ahead of us.

"In my opinion, that starts now and obviously on June 2, when we play that first Test match. If anything, it's a clean slate, and we can't live on what's gone on in the past.

"The simple saying I always try to live by is that you're only as good as your next game. That works very well with success and with failure as well."

Stuart Broad and James Anderson will be back for that match having been dropped under Root.

"You pick your best 11 players," Stokes explained, "and if Stuart Broad and James Anderson are fit, they're definitely part of that."

But how will he go about lifting the rest of the team? Stokes was reluctant to discuss his qualities as a captain, saying: "That would be talking about myself too much, which I don't like doing."

He did suggest a recent break from cricket to look after his mental wellbeing gave him crucial insight, though.

"I see it especially as a positive in the role I'm in now, because I've got a lot of experiences that I can look back on, good and bad," Stokes said.

He added: "Being a captain's not just about focusing on what goes on between 11 o'clock and six o'clock. It's a job that continues after those hours."

Michael Atherton wants Ben Stokes to take the opportunity to "grab hold" of the dressing room if England are still without a head coach in his first Test as captain against New Zealand.

Stokes was last week confirmed as the successor to Joe Root, who ended his long reign as skipper following a nightmare Ashes series in Australia and subsequent disappointment in the Caribbean. 

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) are not due to start interviewing for both a Test and limited-overs head coach until next week, with Chris Silverwood sacked after the 4-0 hammering Down Under.

England start a three-match Test series against the Black Caps at Lord's on June 2 and former skipper Atherton believes Stokes can stamp his authority on the side in the absence of a head coach.

He told Sky Sports News: "Ben Stokes will be his own man; he has got a chance to shape that team now and take it in a different direction.

"There may not be a coach in place in time. These things go through a process; I think May 6 is when job applications close and June 2 is the first Test match. That's quite tight.

"That's not a bad thing in my view. I don't think since Sir Andrew Strauss that an England captain has really grabbed hold of a dressing room.

"If there is no coach in there, it will be a chance for Ben to absolutely grab hold of it, mould the team and say 'this is the way we're going to run things.'

"When [Paul] Farbrace was interim coach before [Trevor] Bayliss came in, that was actually when Stokes came back into the side, so it's not a disaster if a coach is not in place by June 2."

Atherton is fully behind the decision to split coaching duties, but did not specify who he wants to take over from Silverwood.

The former opening batter added: "Who should it be? My goodness, all of the candidates that have been talked about are very good. Gary Kirsten is a very good candidate, Simon Katich an excellent candidate. There will be any number of people.

"It's the right thing though to split, or look to split, the job. Years ago I said on Sky that England needed to consider split coaching roles. You look at the schedules now, they are so crammed, it's very difficult for one man to do everything.

"In the middle of the summer, England will be in Amsterdam for some one-day internationals in the middle of a Test series. How does one man plan for that? It's impossible.

"Last year when England were in Dubai playing the T20 World Cup, the Ashes were coming up two weeks later. Impossible.

"Looking to split responsibilities is exactly the right way to go. Two distinct coaching staffs for Test cricket and limited-overs cricket, that will make life much easier."

Ben Stokes has told England chiefs he wants James Anderson and Stuart Broad back in the Test team under his captaincy.

The new skipper believes it is too soon to dispense with the fast-bowling expertise of the duo who between them have taken 1,177 wickets in the five-day international game.

Broad, 35, looks set to add to his 152 caps, and 39-year-old Anderson can expect to boost his total of 169 Test appearances in the upcoming series against New Zealand.

That is set to mark Stokes' debut as England's new full-time Test captain, with the first match beginning on June 2 at Lord's.

Joe Root's successor made it an urgent matter when he spoke to new England managing director Rob Key, after the pace pair were left out for the recent West Indies series and used sparingly in the Ashes.

"When I met Ben Stokes the other day, one of the first things he said was, 'Jimmy and Broady are back'," Key said.

"I said, 'Absolutely, no problem'. Now that might have been a bit of a problem if I didn't think that, but I was on exactly the same page.

"That wasn't much of a debate, we both agreed. I sat with Broady a week and a half ago and Jimmy last night. They're both keen and ready to go."

Ben Stokes has been appointed as England Test captain following Joe Root's resignation.

Root led his country in the longest format for just over five years, but brought his long reign to an end this month following an abysmal run of just one win in 17 matches.

Stokes has agreed to step up from his role as vice-captain after holding talks with new managing director of men's cricket Rob Key.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved the appointment of Stokes on Tuesday after Key recommended the 30-year-old for the job.

All-rounder Stokes said: "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer.

"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world.

"He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."

 

Key, who started his role this month with plenty of issues to address, said: "I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Stokes' first match as skipper will be when a series against New Zealand starts at Lord's on June 2.

England should also have appointed a new Test head coach by the time they face the Black Caps after Chris Silverwood was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

The ECB has opted to appoint separate head coaches for the Test and limited-overs teams.

Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich, Tom Moody and Graham Ford are among the names to be linked with the Test job.

Ben Stokes has been appointed as England Test captain following Joe Root's resignation.

Root led his country in the longest format for just over five years, but brought his long reign to an end this month following an abysmal run of just one win in 17 matches.

Stokes has agreed to step up from his role as vice-captain after holding talks with new managing director of men's cricket Rob Key.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) approved the appointment of Stokes on Tuesday after Key recommended the 30-year-old for the job.

All-rounder Stokes said: "I am honoured to be given the chance to lead the England Test team. This is a real privilege, and I'm excited about getting started this summer.

"I want to thank Joe for everything he has done for English cricket and for always being a great ambassador for the sport all across the world.

"He has been a massive part of my development as a leader in the dressing room, and he will continue to be a key ally for me in this role."

 

Key, who started his role this month with plenty of issues to address, said: "I had no hesitation in offering the role of Test captain to Ben.

"He epitomises the mentality and approach we want to take this team forward into the next era of red-ball cricket. I am delighted that he has accepted, and he is ready for the added responsibility and the honour. He thoroughly deserves the opportunity."

Stokes' first match as skipper will be when a series against New Zealand starts at Lord's on June 2.

England should also have appointed a new Test head coach by the time they face the Black Caps after Chris Silverwood was sacked in the wake of a 4-0 Ashes hammering in Australia.

The ECB has opted to appoint separate head coaches for the Test and limited-overs teams.

Gary Kirsten, Simon Katich, Tom Moody and Graham Ford are among the names to be linked with the Test job.

Eoin Morgan believes "brilliant leader" Ben Stokes would find it difficult to turn down the England Test captaincy. 

Vice-captain Stokes is a leading contender to take over as skipper in the longest format after Joe Root stepped down last week.

England white-ball captain Morgan says the all-rounder has all the right credentials to step up and succeed Root.

He told Sky Sports: "Obviously Ben is a fantastic player, a brilliant leader, though he doesn't need to have the captain's armband on to lead like he does.

"The experience of the World Cup final here [at Lord's] really showed his true colours in the way that he led from start to finish – and throughout the whole tournament as well. He'd certainly be a candidate.

"I think it would be hard to turn down the captaincy. It's a privileged position to be in. Obviously circumstances have to be right, but most people who want to take red-ball cricket forward would like to take it on."

Morgan played his last Test for England a decade ago and has not featured in a first-class match for Middlesex since 2019, so he has no interest in replacing Root.

Asked if he would be interested in the role, the 35-year-old batter said: "Absolutely not, no.

"I'm very happy with the role that I play within the white-ball team and English cricket at the moment. It has been the part of my career that I'm most proud of.

"My career is firmly focused on World Cups, and hopefully sustaining what we've built over the last six years is probably going to be the most important part of what I leave behind eventually.

"I haven't played red-ball cricket for a long time. I wouldn't have any interest in the job. I would be no good at it."

Ben Stokes is the only candidate to replace Joe Root as England's Test captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.

Root's record-breaking stint as captain was ended on Friday when he stepped down after a dismal run of results.

England have lost five consecutive Test series, winning just one of their past 17 matches under Root.

Root, who will remain in the team as one of cricket's elite batsmen, has overseen more Test matches (64), wins (27) and losses (26) than any other England skipper.

Attention is now turning to who might take on the role next, but England's poor performances and inconsistent team selections provide few obvious alternatives.

Superstar all-rounder Stokes is among the favourites, though, and that is who Vaughan would turn to.

"I don't see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side," Vaughan told the BBC's Test Match Special podcast.

"In Ben Stokes, you have clearly got someone who has got a smart cricket brain, he's going to give it everything, he is certainly going to have the respect of the players around him."

However, Vaughan added a word of caution: "Stokes is everything in a person and a player that you would want, but he will need a lot of support around him, because when you have got that all-rounder tag and they've got that persona, they think they can do everything.

"You need a senior core around him to give him a few pointers.

"You need to have someone say, 'listen Ben, just concentrate on what you're really good at', and that's out on the field, making decisions and trying to just give us your best performance.

"If he performs like we know he can, he will lead the team by example."

Stokes has captained England in only a single Test match previously, scoring 43 and 46 with the bat while taking 4-49 and 2-39 with the ball in a four-wicket defeat at home to West Indies in July 2020.

One argument for not removing Joe Root as England Test captain was the seeming lack of credible replacements to take over the responsibility.

Well, that became a none issue on Good Friday when it was announced Root had stood down from the position after winning 27 Test matches as skipper – a record for an England captain.

His tenure came under question after England failed to win in five straight series and now the hunt is on for the Yorkshireman's successor.

Stats Perform have evaluated the most likely candidates to do so.

BEN STOKES

Already England's vice-captain and surely the top replacement to fill the void. It is hard to look beyond Stokes, not least because – aside from Root – he is about the only shoo-in for the Test side. So often England's saviour, the star all-rounder has 5,061 runs and 174 wickets from 79 Tests (averaging 35.89 with the bat, and 32.12 with the ball). A recent four-month hiatus, in which Stokes cited mental health reasons, may raise questions as to whether he will want to take on the job, but he certainly appears to be the frontrunner.

JOS BUTTLER

Buttler's main issue, like so many in the red-ball team, is that his place in the side is far from assured. Having said that, Buttler has been a big part of the leadership team in white-ball cricket and the attack-minded wicketkeeper-batsman may thrive if given the opportunity to lead his country in the five-day game. With 2,907 runs and a couple of Test centuries to his name, Buttler could be the one England turn to next.

STUART BROAD

The decision to drop Broad and James Anderson – the former second only to the latter in England's list of all-time leading Test wicket takers – from the recent series in the West Indies was met with complete bemusement. Admittedly, at the age of 35 Broad is in the twilight of his Test career but he could certainly provide a good short-term option until a more viable solution emerges. He has previously captained England in the T20 format too.

RORY BURNS

Recently dropped from the Test team, Burns is maybe more of an outside shot but perhaps with the added responsibility of captaincy he could cement a place in the team. Burns has proved his cricketing nous by leading Surrey to the County Championship in 2018. Burns would need to start scoring consistent runs at the top of the order, though.

JONNY BAIRSTOW

Bairstow has no shortage of grit and desire. Moreover, he was the only England player to score a century in the Ashes debacle and also made a valiant hundred in the first Test against the Windies, which helped secure a draw in that match. However, Bairstow often finds himself in a battle to even make the team. Ollie Pope's emergence means he is not a shoo-in as a middle-order batman, while he is up against Buttler and Ben Foakes to play wicketkeeper.

Ben Stokes has thanked Joe Root for his "sacrifices" after the England Test captain stepped down from the role.

Root was appointed as the successor to Alastair Cook in 2017 and holds the record for most wins as an England captain in the longest format of the game (27).

However, disappointing returns in recent outings, with England winless in five Test series, brought Root's tenure into question, and the Yorkshireman announced he had stepped down with immediate effect on Friday.

Stokes is among the favourites to replace Root and took to Instagram shortly after the announcement to show his appreciation.

"Been a great ride with you my friend," Stokes wrote. "Watching one of my great mates lead us all out on to the field was a privilege.

"You have given everything to English cricket and we all want to say thank you for your sacrifices and hard work."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan also had words of praise for Root, despite being counted among his critics in recent times.

Following the series defeat to West Indies last month, the 47-year-old told BBC Radio Five Live: "If [Root] rings me in the next week and asks for some advice, I'll be dead honest: I'd tell him to step down."

Vaughan posted on Twitter on Friday: "He gave it everything with very little support for the red ball team under his watch... then he had to deal with COVID times.

"He still is and will [be] the game's best role model for many, many years. Now enjoy being the senior player for many more seasons."

England interim head coach Paul Collingwood heaped praise on Ben Stokes for helping to heal the "scar tissue" from another Ashes disappointment.

Joe Root's tourists were thoroughly outplayed against their old foes Australia, succumbing to a 4-0 series defeat Down Under that saw Chris Silverwood dismissed in the wake of the hammering.

Collingwood was placed in temporary charge to lead a new-look England side, without James Anderson or Stuart Broad, to the Caribbean for a three-Test series against West Indies.

England remain in search of their first win under Collingwood – and in eight Tests overall – but have produced encouraging performances in consecutive draws in Antigua and Barbados.

Stokes, who bemoaned his fitness levels after averaging 23.6 with the bat and 71.5 with the ball in Australia, has been integral to the visitors' spirited showings against Kraigg Brathwaite's side.

Indeed, no seamer has sent down more overs in the series than Stokes (77) for his five wickets and economy of just 1.81. He also registered his first century since July 2020 with a brisk 120 in the second Test.

Collingwood was keen to credit superstar all-rounder Stokes for aiding Root and the rest of the England side in recovering from a familiar Ashes fate as they eye a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, which starts on Thursday.

 

"He's phenomenal, he's box office," Collingwood said of Stokes.

"He was going into the Ashes with not much cricket under his belt. Now he's fit, he's determined, and you can tell he wants to make a difference in the dressing room as a leader.

"When he's preparing himself like he is at the moment, he certainly leads. He wants to go out in the middle and put in big performances. He wants the ball in hand, to score the runs, and he's doing just that at the moment.

"Even in the meetings when we first arrived, getting the scar tissue from Australia out the way and [discussing] how we were going to move forward, you could see and hear he had the bit between his teeth and wants to lead this team. I think he and Joe Root have done a magnificent job turning this round.

"He's just desperate to do well for the badge, for England. It's amazing when he's got this kind of attitude, as we all know he's one of the best. Long may it continue."

With a fully fit Stokes partnering the in-form Root, Jonny Bairstow and England's refreshed top order, Collingwood finds it hard to fault the efforts of his team so far.

"They want to put on a show, get a win under their belts, and we have a great attitude at the moment," he added. 

"All the way through the [second] Test match, we were pushing for the win. It always felt as though we were a session or session and a half behind the game with the pace Brathwaite batted in the first innings, but he showed great resilience right the way through the Test match to get a draw for them.

"It's been hard work, but you cannot fault the effort. If you could measure attitude and effort, it couldn't get any better than that."

The only criticism of England against West Indies so far has been their failure to take 20 wickets in a Test, albeit on two placid pitches, leading to calls for the inclusion of leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who Collingwood feels will be ready whenever called upon.

"He is ready as can be," Collingwood said.

"The simple fact is, in COVID-19 times, you don't get matches in between. They are back-to-back-to-back, and it is putting a lot of stress on the players. The downside is we don't have matches in between to have preparation time for guys who are not playing."

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