New England Test captain Ben Stokes has confirmed that former captain Joe Root will bat at his number four position during the upcoming Test series against New Zealand. “I have already spoken to Root on this issue. I have asked him to come back to bat at four,” Stokes was quoted as saying by ICC-cricket.com.

Stokes himself plans to bat at six and hopes the recently underpowered English batsmen will do well in the first Test against the Kiwis at Lord’s on June 2. Stokes said: “Now I feel like instead of talking about Durham scoring, I want to see who is scoring. At the same time, I have a lot of county games to play now.”

Root batted at number three during England’s most recent Test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean, but has a better record for his country in fourth place. The former England captain has an impressive average of 51.27 when he bats at number four, which is his average (39.67) when he bats at three.

The new England captain has already revealed that he will remember the experienced duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with first-choice spinner Jack Leach likely in the mix with Ollie Robinson and Chris Woakes. Stokes said: “You look at players who are unavailable due to injury, like Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Ollie Stone, Sam Curran. They’re all going to work hard for their spots now.”

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