England retain James Anderson as vice-captain for Test series against New Zealand

James Anderson was also the England vice-captain during the Ashes series in Australia
James Anderson was also the England vice-captain during the Ashes series in Australia
©REUTERS
 

England have retained pace bowler James Anderson as the vice-captain for the two-Test series against New Zealand.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes was appointed as the deputy of Joe Root at the start of the last year but with the 26-year-old's career marred with court hearings for an incident in Bristol in September, the selectors have decided to retain Anderson.

Following the controversy, Stokes missed out on Ashes series, One-Day International series against Australia and the Twenty20 International tri-series that also involved New Zealand but managed to return back to international duty for the five-game ODI series against the Black Caps in which he scored 141 runs and picked five wickets as well.

"I'm delighted Joe has asked me to do it again for this series," Anderson told the BBC.

"It doesn't change my role in the team a huge amount. I see myself as a senior player and I'm there for people if they need advice. Certainly if Joe needs help on the field, I'm there for him.

"It's a big group effort when we go on the field, so it's important that we get that right.

"Again in the dressing-room, it's trying to get people relaxed and ready to play Test cricket. It's not just my job; it's Joe's, Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad have plenty of experience, and the coaches as well who have been around the block.

"It's our job to help out where we can and try to help this team progress."

It is also confirmed that Stokes will miss the first two-day warm-up game against New Zealand XI in Hamilton due to a minor back injury.

The two-match Test series will be played between 22nd March and 3rd April with the first game in Auckland being a day-night encounter.

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