England all-rounder Ben Stokes has backed out-of-form skipper Joe Root following the side’s innings-and-65-run loss to New Zealand in the First Test earlier this weekend.
Root has come under fire following ordinary form with the bat, managing only 2 and 11 in the First Test, following some underwhelming scores in the lead-up matches in New Zealand.
The 28-year-old batsman made four half-centuries in the Ashes but failed to reach triple figures once in the series.
There’s even been calls for Root to resign back in the United Kingdom, although there’s few obvious replacements, with Stokes and Jos Buttler the only potentials.
Stokes, who made 91 in the first innings and took two wickets against New Zealand, backed in Root.
“He’s fine,” Stokes said. “He’s Joe Root, he is England captain.
“There’s no one else to do it.
“He knows he’s got the backing of everyone in the changing room, the backroom staff and management.
“That’s the main thing that counts for us as players.
“We’re a tight-knit group and everyone knows that everyone in that changing room 100 per cent backs him, as I do.”
The Second Test between New Zealand and England starts in Hamilton on Friday.
Stokes said England’s batting line-up would need to capitalise on favourable conditions in Hamilton, pinpointing that as a lesson from the First Test in Mount Maunganui.