London - England Test captain Joe Root said they still have to
discuss who will be his deputy for the upcoming series against New Zealand now
that Ben Stokes has returned to the squad.
Stokes is the official vice-captain of the Test team and was
not stripped of the role after the incident outside a nightclub in Bristol cost
him a place on last year's Ashes tour.
Seamer James Anderson was named as the vice-captain for the
Ashes, which England lost four-nil, but with Stokes now back in the Root said
he and coach Trevor Bayliss will have a decision to make.
The two-match Test series against the Black Caps starts on
22 March at Eden Park in Auckland.
Root said of the vice-captaincy role: "That's a
decision we've not agreed yet.
"I think when we get together as a group me and Trevor
will discuss a few things but that's not been discussed [yet]."
Root though has praised Stokes for the way he has fitted
back into the squad after joining up with the team before the ongoing
five-match ODI series.
The all-rounder took two wickets and scored an unbeaten
fifty as the tourists levelled the series at one-all after two games.
Root said of Stokes' return: "All I can say is what
I've seen of him coming back into the environment and he's worked his nuts off
as we expected him to.
"He's gone about things exactly how you'd expect a
really good professional to do and that sort of standard in training is why you
get the performances on the field.
"He worked really hard back home in Durham to make sure
when he did get his opportunity to come back and play he was ready. He loves
playing for England and you can see that in the way he plays.
"He leaves nothing out there on the field, he's really
dedicated to this sport and it's really nice to be able to look back on the
last game and see him have such an influence on the result.