India recovered from Jonny Bairstow clinching yet another century to finish an eventful third day of the fourth Test against England with a healthy 257-run lead.

Bairstow led a fine England counter in a thrilling morning session, bringing up his third century in as many Tests as the hosts looked to make up for a poor start to their first innings.

But after Bairstow's team-mates toiled in being bowled out for 284, India recovered from the early loss of Shubman Gill to reach 125-3 by close of play, leaving the hosts with it all to do on day four. 

The hosts enjoyed some good fortune upon resuming, with skipper Ben Stokes (25-36) being dropped in inexplicable fashion by Jasprit Bumrah before gifting the visiting captain a catch with an identical shot off the very next ball.

As has often been the case since Brendon McCullum took charge, England were left to rely on the brilliant Bairstow, who dragged them into contention by bringing up his century – the 11th of his Test career - off 119 balls shortly after lunch.

But their momentum dissipated when Mohammed Shami had him caught for 106 off 140 to reduce England to 241-7, before Mohammed Siraj dismissed Stuart Broad (1-5) in the very next over and finished the innings 4-66 after accounting for Sam Billings (36-57) and Matthew Potts (19-18).

Needing a fast start to have any hope of teeing up another successful chase, England were boosted when James Anderson had Gill (4-3) caught at slip, his fourth Test dismissal of the India opener.

Broad and Stokes then claimed a wicket apiece as Hanuma Vihari (11-44) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli (20-44) were felled, before Cheteshwar Pujara bought up a slow half-century off 139 balls. 

He and Rishabh Pant (30 not out) were then content to see the day out in quiet fashion, with England now requiring wickets to fall quickly on Monday.

Brilliant Bairstow drags England into contention

The pressure was on when England resumed on Sunday, and Bairstow – so often the key man in the early days of McCullum's red-ball revolution, stepped up after a bout of sledging from Kohli.

In recording his first century against India in Test cricket, Bairstow went from 13 off 61 balls to 100 off 119, going up through the gears in rapid fashion when England needed him most.

Siraj halts hosts' progress

With England having recovered from 84-5 to 241-7 by Bairstow's dismissal, India could have been forgiven for thinking back to the way McCullum's men conducted three successful chases of over 250 against New Zealand in their recent series whitewash.

But Siraj stepped up to claim a four-wicket haul as India held off their hosts, leaving England requiring something special to level the series at 2-2.

England might need another act of Jonny Bairstow heroism to dig them out of a deep hole at Edgbaston after India made the home side suffer on a rain-hit second day of the fifth Test.

In a wild morning session, India went from 338-7 to 416 all out, Ravindra Jadeja completing a century by moving from 83 to 104 before being bowled by James Anderson.

India scored a world-record 35 runs from one Stuart Broad over as captain Jasprit Bumrah took centre stage with the bat. Bumrah is better known for his work with the ball, and the skipper then reduced England to 44-3 when he sent back Alex Lees, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope.

After a two-hour rain break, the third such interruption of the innings, England lost former skipper Joe Root for 31, and nightwatchman Jack Leach followed, with Bairstow (12 not out) and captain Ben Stokes (0 no) together at the close. England were 84-5 at stumps, nowhere near where they hoped to be in the contest.

India are 2-1 ahead in this series, one that began last year but had to be curtailed before the fifth Test got under way due to COVID-19 concerns in the tourists' ranks. This long-delayed match is therefore decisive, with England needing a victory to force a drawn series.

Rather than go after the win, avoiding a heavy defeat could become the priority, but at this stage the hosts will still believe they can salvage this situation, given positivity is flowing through the team after the recent 3-0 rout of New Zealand.

Broad had a rotten morning, entering the record books in unwanted fashion when Bumrah set about his bowling. The previous Test record of 28 runs from an over was obliterated, aided by Broad bowling a high wide that raced to the boundary before being clubbed for six off a no-ball.

Bumrah finished on 31 not out when Broad held a catch off James Anderson (5-60) to remove Mohammed Siraj in the next over.

Three rain delays affected England's reply, but the batting was not up to scratch. The most damaging dismissal was surely that of Root to a snorter of a delivery that climbed rapidly into the batsman, drawing a thin edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Now Bairstow, whose past three Test scores have been 136, 162 and 71 not out, will aim to lead a recovery effort alongside the skipper.


Anderson at it again

It still defies belief that England's previous regime looked ready to discard Anderson. He might turn 40 later this month, but few seamers in world cricket can rival his skill, and India again found him so difficult to play. A 32nd five-wicket haul of his Test career was his sixth against India.

England have done it before, so can they do it again?

England hardly need to look far back in the history books for inspiration. In the third Test against New Zealand, they were 55-6 in their first innings but rallied to post 360 all out. The seventh-wicket stand of 241 runs between Bairstow and Jamie Overton saved the day that time, and something special is required again here.

England paceman Stuart Broad was put to the sword by Jasprit Bumrah as India set a Test record for the most runs scored in an over.

The previous record of 28 runs was obliterated as India grabbed 35 from Broad's shocking set of six, with Bumrah doing most of the damage.

The rout began with a top-edged hook to the boundary for four, before Broad's over descended into chaos as a high wide scurried off to the boundary to give India five free runs, and the next ball, a no-ball, was flung away for six.

Bumrah lashed each of the next three deliveries for four as India reached 28 from the first four permissible deliveries, before the India captain clattered Broad away for a second six of the over.

India had 34 with one ball remaining, and this time Broad sent down a yorker, with Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj scrambling a single.

The onslaught took India from 377-9 to 412-9 on the second morning of the match, with the tourists adding just four more in the next over before James Anderson had Siraj caught by the fed-up Broad.

This fifth Test at Edgbaston is a long-delayed series decider, having been postponed from last September, when it was due to be played at Old Trafford, due to COVID-19 concerns in the India camp.

Anderson and England colleague Joe Root were two of the three players who had previously conceded 28 runs from a Test over, to share the unwanted record with South Africa Robin Peterson.

Stuart Broad hailed the mentality new Test coach Brendon McCullum has instilled in England, with the New Zealand great encouraging his side to play with freedom.

England completed a fourth-innings chase of 279 in the opening Test against the Black Caps at Lord's, with Joe Root posting a majestic unbeaten 115 to guide his team to victory.

But more fireworks were to follow at Trent Bridge when England chased down 299 in just 50 overs on the final day as the McCullum era got off to a magnificent start.

Jonny Bairstow bludgeoned the second-fastest Test century for England on Tuesday, with new captain Ben Stokes providing more than capable support to take an unassailable 2-0 series lead over New Zealand in the three-match series.

Much has been made of McCullum's coaching methods, which are said to focus on mentality as opposed to technique during the match, and Broad was quick to credit his coach.

"There's no doubt that Baz has had an impact already," said Broad.

"It does feel really fresh and exciting in the changing room. It's a very positive language. It's very forward-thinking, all about how to move this game forward.

"This is no dig but at tea, when we were four down with the game in the balance slightly, I've certainly been in changing rooms in the past where that would be shut up shop time.

"Baz's team talk was very much 'let's attack the danger; let's run towards the danger' so every part of your mind is about going for this win.

"It was never really a case of 'if we lose one we might shut up shop'. It was always 'we're going to win' and if it doesn't work, don't worry about it."

Root has continued his batting form in impressive fashion after stepping down as England Test captain in April, with Stokes taking the role.

Chris Silverwood was also dismissed as coach and Broad says McCullum has brought the focus back to the excitement of cricket, with players enjoying the challenge and the occasion.

"I don't think he's spoken particularly deeply, his whole mantra is about enjoyment and fun," he added. "The energy is: how good's Test cricket? How good's this ground? What can we get out of today?

"He looks like a guy who has a cricket brain that is working all the time, he's thinking how we can change the game.

"It's not just praising guys who get a hundred, it's tiny little things, bits of fielding, momentum changes in the game. He will bring attention to that."

While McCullum has enjoyed a great beginning to his role, downing the world Test champions in both matches, even the New Zealand legend may have not expected the heroics of Bairstow.

The Yorkshire star smashed a 77-ball century in a game-changing 179-run partnership with Stokes as England chased the remaining 160 runs in the final session with ease.

"I didn't quite expect to see what I saw from Jonny. It was the most outrageous hour I've seen in Test cricket from a partnership. It was just exhilarating, astonishing," Broad continued.

"That striking...only a handful of players in the world can do that. Jonny is obviously in that group."

Stuart Broad labelled Joe Root as "a legend of the game" as he insisted he could never fall out with the former England Test captain over being dropped.

Broad and James Anderson were surprise omissions from the tour of West Indies in March, which ended in 1-0 series defeat and proved to be the final straw for skipper Root.

Root subsequently stepped down after one win in his 17 Tests, with Ben Stokes taking the captaincy and Brendon McCullum appointed as the new red-ball head coach.

Broad and Anderson were reinstated for the opening Test against New Zealand, which England won by five wickets thanks to Root's magnificent unbeaten 115.

The evergreen Broad claimed match figures of 4-121, including a remarkable spell on the third day that saw him remove centurion Daryl Mitchell and Kyle Jamieson in the space of three balls, with Colin de Grandhomme run out in between.

Broad says there was never any bad blood between him and the former skipper, who reached the 10,000 Test runs landmark when he brought up his century on Sunday.

"Joe and I spoke at length when he stood down as captain and I said to him how much he's meant to me as a captain, and what a privilege it was playing under him," Broad said.

"I told him I hope he really enjoys the next few years, all that pressure has gone now, he's already a legend of the game, so he can just go out there and enjoy it.

"Joe and I are great friends and I've always been someone who can distinguish between business and pleasure. I can't fall out with someone because they don't pick me in a team, that would be a bit pathetic."

Broad is enjoying the start of a new era for England as they prepare for a second Test at his home ground Trent Bridge, which starts on Friday.

"It's been one of the most fun weeks we've had as a team," he added. "Just the relaxed environment, the way we're talking as a team. It's not too structured, it's just a case of what do you need to do to make you feel you're 10-foot tall?

"It's noticeable from Stokesy and Baz [McCullum] that it's all about taking wickets. To start the Stokes-McCullum era with a win is huge for us. To chase 277 is awesome for us as a group.

"To see the way we've attacked that target shows that mindset. Things went our way – that no-ball makes it a different game – but it's no mean feat chasing a score like that. That's a mindset thing.

"I don't think anyone who has come to Lord's can argue it's not been fun, the style of cricket, edge-of-the-seat at times, the crowd has got involved and it's something we want to take to Trent Bridge."

Broad believes having a different outlook is what stood him and Anderson in good stead ahead of their return to the Test side.

"I've changed my mindset over the winter and since Hobart," he continued. "It's not looking too far ahead, it's just enjoying each week for what it is, give everything, and then reset for the next week.

"Jimmy turns 40 this year, four years ago was he thinking 2018 might be his last at Old Trafford? Probably not. That just takes your mind away from enjoying the week.

"I started this season not knowing if I'd pull on the England shirt again, I was just enjoying every day for what it was.

"I wear the Notts shirt with the same pride as the England badge and I'll attack this week with the same mindset: walk out on that first day, look around the stands, and know how lucky I am to be there."

Daryl Mitchell and Tom Blundell combined to put New Zealand in the ascendancy at 236-4 at stumps on day two of the first Test, leading England by 227 runs.

England added just 25 to their overnight score as they were dismissed for 141, a lead of nine, as both teams were bowled at Lord's in a Test match first innings for less than 150 for the first time since 1954.

Tim Southee (4-55) accounted for Stuart Broad (nine) and Ben Foakes (seven), while Trent Boult (3-21) removed Matt Parkinson – playing his first Test as a concussion sub for Jack Leach – for eight.

That called James Anderson (1-49) and Broad (1-47) back into action far sooner than they may have expected at Lord's, and the former soon dismissed Will Young for only one in the third over.

Matthew Potts (2-50) then claimed the wicket of captain Kane Williamson (15) for the second time in the match, before Tom Latham (14) edged the Durham quick behind to leave New Zealand 38-3 at lunch.

Devon Conway, on 13, feathered a short Broad ball behind to Foakes to start the second session, but Mitchell and Blundell steadied the ship to reach tea at 128-4.

Ben Stokes and Potts opted to employ the short-ball tactic in the final session, but to no avail as Blundell posted his fifth half-century, with Mitchell following his partner to the landmark shortly after. 

Mitchell (97) and Blundell (90), who remain unbeaten in their 180-run partnership, will eye their second and third Test match hundreds respectively as New Zealand look to build their sizeable lead on day three.

Brilliant Broad blunted

Australian opener David Warner joked on Instagram "Conway, I feel your pain" after seeing the New Zealand left-hander dismissed in familiar fashion by Broad around the wicket in the first innings.

Broad's second removal of Conway came from an alternate, shorter line, but despite his brilliant bowling, he ultimately left with no additional reward after the important knocks by Mitchell and Blundell.

Young must learn to leave

Young came into this series after a strong County Championship outing with Northamptonshire, racking up 331 runs at an average of 55.2 for the Division One side across his first four matches.

But the New Zealand opener must adapt after twice being exposed by Anderson's new-ball expertise, having been dismissed in almost identical fashion in both innings on one when nicking through to Foakes.

Ben Stokes' first major selection calls all looked to have gone to plan by lunch on day one of the first Test against New Zealand, who stumbled through to the end of the first session on 39-6.

In England's first Test since naming Stokes as captain and appointing Black Caps great Brendon McCullum as coach, New Zealand won the toss and had the opportunity to apply early pressure.

Instead, recalled veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad ripped through the top order with the help of Jonny Bairstow.

Bairstow, stationed in a slip cordon that was for so long an issue under Joe Root and Chris Silverwood, took the first three catches, including a sensational effort for the breakthrough wicket of Will Young off the bowling of Anderson.

His impeccable handling, even stooping to catch after juggling Tom Latham off Anderson, stood in stark contrast to what had gone before – England have dropped 70 catches in Tests since the start of 2021, the most of any side.

Bairstow's take from Devon Conway off Broad was far more straightforward between his legs, but New Zealand captain Kane Williamson remained in the middle as Matthew Potts – Stokes' Durham team-mate – took the ball for the first time in his Test debut.

Potts is the leading wicket taker in the County Championship this season, counting 15 top-four batters among his 35 scalps, and he required only five balls to make his mark.

New Zealand came into this match with the best batting strike rate against pace in Test cricket since the start of 2021 (55.3), but Potts' seam delivery teased an outside edge from Williamson, who was caught behind by Ben Foakes.

Potts (3-8) was not done there either, bowling through Daryl Mitchell to scatter his stumps and removing Tom Blundell, too, after earlier being denied by a successful lbw review in a sensational start for the rookie bowler, Stokes and England.

That positivity was only dampened by news of Jack Leach's withdrawal from the Test with concussion symptoms after an awkward fall while chasing a ball in the field.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been recalled and Matthew Potts has earned a debut for England's first Test under the new leadership of Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes against New Zealand.

England's all-time leading wicket taker Anderson and Broad, second on that list, were contentiously dropped for the series in the West Indies earlier this year.

But defeat in that series led to the resignation of captain Joe Root and the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

New Zealand legend McCullum was consequently appointed as Silverwood's successor, while star all-rounder Stokes was named as new skipper.

England have turned to the experience of Anderson and Broad as they aim to make a winning start against the Black Caps at Lord's, while Durham seamer Potts – Stokes' county team-mate – is also included in the attack.

Potts is the leading wicket taker in the County Championship this season with 35 and got the nod ahead of Craig Overton.

In-form Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook has to wait for an opportunity, though, with Jonny Bairstow batting at five.


England team to face New Zealand: Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Ben Foakes, Matthew Potts, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Stuart Broad insists he is ready to "have an impact on England winning games again" as he eyes a return to the Test side against New Zealand.

England host New Zealand in a three-Test series, starting at Lord's on Thursday, as new Test coach Brendon McCullum welcomes his home country in his first game in charge.

McCullum has already hinted Broad and James Anderson, who have 1,117 Test wickets between them, could feature together after the pair's surprise omission from the West Indies tour in March.

Broad is reportedly contending with Craig Overton for the final spot in the England XI, with the hosts widely expected to select spinner Jack Leach and the seaming duo of Anderson and Matthew Potts.

Nottinghamshire bowler Broad, though, says he will give he is all should he return for England in the first Test.

Asked whether he feared for his future in the red-ball team, Broad responded on Tuesday: "No, not at all. I still felt like I had a lot to offer to the team.

"As a professional sportsperson, if you don't believe you're one of the best bowlers in the country then you're stuffed, aren't you? My mindset was still that I was in the best bowling group, particularly in England.

"Missing out on the West Indies was disappointing. But my approach was to take March off, chill out, and get really fresh, buzzing to play and come back with Notts ready to strike at the right time.

"I've actually done a lot of work with Chris Marshall, the Notts psychologist, on my mindset, because I think that's the most important thing for me going forward.

"Rather than going through the summer and thinking, 'I really want to make sure I'm fit for that second Test of the South Africa series', life doesn't work like that.

"It's very much a case of be grateful for what I've got this week, give my heart and soul for this week, and then if I'm a bit stiff and sore next week or don't play, they want to give a new bowler some experience, then great.

"Give everything to this week, train hard and, if I get in the team, everything will be left on that field.

"I said to Jimmy, whether we get 0-100 or 5-30, the performance doesn't matter right now, it's all about us giving everything to the England shirt and the environment.

"We're good enough that the results will look after themselves in the long run anyway. I feel like I'm bowling well and I'm ready to have an impact on England winning games again."

Brendon McCullum insists he will pick his best England Test side at every opportunity with no interest in rest and rotation, while he suggested James Anderson and Stuart Broad can still work in tandem.

Anderson and Broad were surprise omissions for the tour of the West Indies in March, which ended in a 1-0 series defeat for Joe Root before he stepped down as England Test captain.

Ben Stokes was appointed as the successor to Root, who oversaw just one win in his last 17 Tests, while McCullum was named as red-ball coach, beating Gary Kirsten to the position.

McCullum's first task sees him face his home country New Zealand, starting at Lord's next Thursday, and he hinted Anderson and Broad – who have 1,117 Test wickets between them – could feature together.

"Why not? They can work together," he said to BBC Sport of the veteran bowling pair. "They have had successful careers together.

"There might have been times when the combination might not have been as good as everyone hoped, but there are circumstances around that – there might not have been enough runs, or they were bowling in benign conditions. I'm certainly not against picking them together.

"I'll probably get in trouble, but I like to pick the best team every time.

"My job will be to plan as if you'll live forever, but live as if you'll die tomorrow."

McCullum also sees similarities between himself and new captain Stokes, with the pair both known for their attacking batting displays in five-day cricket.

"He's going to be a wonderful leader," said McCullum. "He plays the game how I like it to be played and puts bums on seats.

"He might fly. He might grab the captaincy and go to a whole new level again. We'll just play what we see and feel in that moment – and I'm sure the relationship between Stokesy and I will really flourish."

There remain concerns over McCullum's experience, given he has only ever coached white-ball franchises Kolkata Knight Riders and Trinbago Knight Riders.

However, he played 101 Tests for his country and believes he will coach differently to the aggressive batting style he opted for as a player.

"I'm very different as a coach to how I was as a player," he added.

"I like to allow guys to get to where they need to, to realise their potential rather than play how I played. I'd never want anyone to do that – that comes with an immense amount of disappointment at times. It's not for everyone, that style.

"Your job as coach is to understand everyone's game, understand them as people, get to know them and understand their aspirations. You try to piece that all together for one common goal."

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.

Brendon McCullum's appointment as England's Test head coach is "good news" for James Anderson and Stuart Broad, according to former New Zealand bowler Simon Doull.

McCullum was confirmed on Thursday as the successor to Chris Silverwood, taking up his first coaching role at international level.

The former Black Caps captain will step down from his role as head coach of Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders at the end of the season, having also previously coached similarly named Caribbean Premier League team, Trinbago Knight Riders.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Doull believes McCullum's loyalty will mean England's two leading Test wicket takers will have no concerns about being left out of the squad again, after both were overlooked for the recent Test series against West Indies.

When asked if it would be good news or bad news for Anderson and Broad shortly before the official confirmation, Doull replied: "Good news. Absolute good news.

"Not only is [McCullum] an astute cricketer and an astute cricket brain, he's also quite a loyal bloke and I think there is a little bit of cricket left in both those guys, and probably a little bit more in Stuart Broad than some might think, so I would imagine it'll be very good news for those gentlemen."

Doull also said he thinks McCullum will get on well with Stokes, who was appointed as Joe Root's replacement as England's Test captain last month.

"I think there's a huge amount of respect already," he said. "I'd like to think [Stokes] would be the sort of captain who would want to own that team, and I don't think Brendon will have a problem with that whatsoever.

"He will do everything he can to get the best out of what is, outside of Joe Root, England's best cricketer... He knows as well as a captain [with New Zealand], he kind of ran that team. [Former head coach] Mike Hesson facilitated, he coached from the periphery... but Brendon basically ran that team and I would imagine he'll look for Ben Stokes to do the same thing.

Doull – who made 32 Test appearances for the Black Caps, taking 98 wickets – was also keen to back McCullum, in particular suggesting that he will want England to play their own style, rather than trying to adopt another.

"[McCullum's] best qualities? Very simple as far as his philosophies are concerned," he added.

"He turned New Zealand around completely [as captain], just because he wanted a New Zealand way to play and maybe that's something he'll look to do with England as well. Play the England style of cricket rather than trying to play like someone else, or invent a style that's not really suitable for English players.

"He's a straight talker... there's no airs and graces about Brendon. He's a South Island boy brought up pretty hard, pretty tough, and he played his cricket exactly that way.

"He will have enormous respect from the players... and he's obviously already had good conversations with Ben Stokes and [England managing director] Rob Key.

"So communication, tough but honest, and he will find a philosophy, I think, that works. Those will be his key things." 

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."

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."

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."

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