ODI series left me in agony but I couldn’t miss chance to captain England

A 3-0 clean sweep against Pakistan is what I would call a job well done. And I’m delighted to have been able to lead a great group of lads to that result.

Eoin Morgan can take charge once again, knowing that the future looks very bright for English white ball cricket and that his legacy will continue long after we’ve moved on.

It was a totally unexpected set of games for me and the truth is I would never have played under normal circumstances due to how much pain I was in with my left index finger. The surgery was a success after I had broken it at the IPL, but it was still so painful. Sometimes though you just have to grin and bear it, and captaining England is one of those reasons.

The finger has healed structurally, but the pain was just ridiculous for where it should be so that is why I have now had an injection to ease it for the rest of the summer.

Ben Stokes captained England to 3-0 series victory over Pakistan

I’ve got a bit of a break now which should give the steroids time to take effect and allow me to play pain free in the Hundred and then against India.

The plan is still to take some part in the Hundred, although everyone will need to be as careful as possible where covid is concerned. I know the ECB are working hard on getting that right.

Hopefully my finger won’t be a problem by the time the India Test series comes around, because that is a huge series and one we are all desperate to perform well in.

We are trying to build a Test squad that is as strong as our white ball squads are, because the performances in the ODI series showed just how deep the talent runs in the game.

I was particularly pleased to see James Vince score his first international hundred for England after coming close a few times before.

Sometimes there is a moment in a player’s career that seems to kickstart them and for Vincey to know that he can score hundreds in international cricket might just be that moment for him.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 13: England batsman James Vince reaches his 100 during the 3rd ODI between England and Pakistan at Edgbaston on July 13, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
James Vince scored a wonderful century in the third and final ODI against Pakistan

It was a tough situation for all of us to deal with, changing the entire squad at the last minute, but the way all the players stepped up, not to mention the coaches and the backroom staff was just brilliant and I think we will all remember this series for a long time.

It will take another unusual set of circumstances for me to get the chance to captain England across a whole series again, but I’m pleased with the way I managed it and that also has a lot to do with Morgs and the way he has rubbed off on me.

He has been the perfect example of how to captain a side both on and off the field, so it is fair to say he had a pretty big impact on the series even in isolation.

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