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Ben Stokes: Why I would run through a brick wall for Joe Root

What a proud thrill it was to be asked to present our captain Joe Root with his 100 th cap in a team gathering before the game.

These are special moments that you carry with you through your career and it was great to be able to mark the moment with a few heartfelt words.

For most people Joe is an incredible athlete, one of the very best batsmen the game has seen, and an inspirational captain and leader.

But for some he is also just Joe who is a kind and thoughtful person and a down to earth lad from Sheffield who happens to be really good at cricket.

Root and Stokes, captain, vice-captain, team-mates and friends

There was no better example of this for me than a few years ago when I was going through a well documented period in my life that was pretty tough.

But even though he had plenty on his plate as England captain and with an Ashes tour to play in, not once did he distance himself from me, quite the opposite.

At those times he wasn’t my captain, he was my friend.

The duo have played plenty of cricket together down the years

It was a time when I didn’t have a huge amount of support from too many people, but Joe had my back so I’ll always hold him in the highest esteem with the way he handled that situation.

And that wasn’t just publicly in the media, but in private too. He was going through his own tough time down in Australia but he stayed in constant contact and that meant a huge amount to me.

It is why in situations where he needs me, I will do anything I can for him. If people wonder why I’d run through a brick wall for him, it is because of this.

Stokes would ‘run through a brick wall’ for Root

Sometimes he finds it hard to get the ball out of my hand until the job is done, and even though he might be trying to protect me and look after my body, I am happy to go the extra mile for him.

I couldn’t be more proud to be his vice-captain, a position that looked a long way off not too long ago, but even on this issue his loyalty towards me has never wavered.

Jos Buttler picked up his 50th Test cap in India

I like to think we make a good team and we have different skills that can hopefully work well to help the team. I’ll certainly be doing whatever I can with bat, ball and in the field over the next five days to try and secure the win that we all desperately want in the first Test against India.

It would be the perfect way to round off a very special few days for Joe.




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