England all-rounder Ben Stokes is all set to captain his team for the first time ever in his career, in the absence og regular-skipper Joe Root, in the Test series opener against West Indies at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Wednesday.
International cricket is set to resume after a break of four months owing to the coronavirus pandemic with the three-match Test series between West Indies and England.
Root will be missing the first Test as he will be attending the birth of his second child. In his absence, ECB named Stokes as the captain and Jos Buttler as his deputy.
Writing in his column for the Mirror on the eve of the Test, Stokes said that is his awaiting that special moment, while adding that he would rather want to focus on the game than get carried away by the excitement.
"It will be a special day for me," he wrote in a column for the Mirror. "[T]here is huge pride there, but my focus is on the job, not on the bells and whistles.
"This is a one-off Test for me being captain and I want to do the best I can, which means staying true to myself and just being me."
Stokes is also expecting utmoss committment from his teammates in a bid to make a winning start against the Windies which has a strong pace attack.
"The one thing I’m expecting from the team this week, above all else, is 100% commitment throughout the five days, because it will take a huge effort from everyone in the team to get the win we’re looking for against a quality West Indies team.
"All I want to see is that total commitment from the players and not letting the fact that there is no crowd there be used as an excuse for any drop in our intensity level," Stokes wrote.
England will be looking to reclaim the Wisden Trophy after having lost 1-2 in West Indies in 2019.
"The fact is the West Indies have the bragging rights and the Wisden Trophy from the last series. And we want both back," Stokes said.