Stokes calls for patience ahead of Lord’s showdown

New England Test captain Ben Stokes says his side will not improve overnight but he is confident they can show signs of progress under new coach Brendon McCullum as they prepare to face New Zealand in a three-Test series this month (England EVS, Draw 4/1, New Zealand 13/8 – Series Winner).

England have started from scratch ahead of this summer, with Joe Root standing down as captain, allowing Stokes to take the helm.

Former batsman Rob Key was named as the new managing director of the England men’s cricket team and the 43-year-old turned to McCullum following the sacking of Chris Silverwood.

England fans’ will expect a response on Thursday when the hosts welcome New Zealand to Lord’s for the first of three Tests. However, the Three Lions have won just one of their past 17 Tests and they lost a two-Test series to the Black Caps last summer (England 11/8, Draw 13/8, New Zealand 11/4 – First Test Winner).

Stokes believes his team need to get back on the pitch as soon as possible and is adamant the current group can turn things around with enough time and patience.

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He told BBC Sport: “How am I going to make these guys believe? It’s something I’ve thought really hard about.

“I honestly don’t think we can do that until we start playing. It’s all good saying it in the dressing room, but it’s the reaction we give, especially when things don’t go right, that will set the guys on to believing in the way that we’re playing.

“Everyone is very clear what me and Brendon see as the way for this team to progress, but it won’t happen overnight.”

England will hand Matty Potts his Test debut, while James Anderson and Stuart Broad return to the fold.

New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls has been ruled out, with Daryl Mitchell taking his place in the XI.

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Author: Paula Allen