James Anderson will serve as Joe Root’s vice-captain on their Ashes tour, the England camp have confirmed.
Anderson fills the vacancy left by Ben Stokes’ current unavailability, as the all-rounder waits at home to discover whether he will be charged after being arrested in September on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
England’s all-time leading wicket-taker was one of a clutch of obvious candidates, also including his fellow seamer Stuart Broad and former captain Alastair Cook.
Anderson spoke earlier this week about the possibility of becoming vice-captain, confirming he would not rule himself out if asked but adding too that he does not see the role as a critical one – with so many experienced players on hand to help Root.
Asked on Monday if he would say no to the vice-captaincy, Anderson said: “Of course not, I wouldn’t.”
At 35, with 506 Test wickets to his name, he has evolved into one of the captain’s go-to tactical advisers on the pitch – and it is a responsibility he relishes.
“In the last couple of years, I’ve seen my role in the team as a leader,” he added.
”With young bowlers coming into the team, I’ve tried to help out as much as I can… I think it’s important Joe has people he can rely upon.”
With Stokes now looking more and more unlikely of making the trip Down Under, other players will have to step up to the void and make themselves known if England want to secure the Ashes.
It's certainly not been the best preparation for Joe Root and co., but as the first Test looms, all eyes will be on how England can perform without one of their star men.
As for Anderson, he seems like he's delighted with the opportunity that has arisen, and as one of the more experienced players in the side, it comes as no surprise that he's been chosen as the vice-captain.
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