Tendulkar spoke about stand-in English skipper Stokes while previewing the three-Test series, which started in Southampton on yesterday, with West Indies legend Brian Lara. As bad light and a wet outfield interfered with play throughout the day, England closed on 35/1 with Sibley dismissed for a duck by Gabriel.

It was a special day for Ben Stokes as the Englishman captained his side for the first time and won the toss. Indian batting great Sachin Tendulkar had little doubt that Ben Stokes will lead England from the front in the opening Test against West Indies, with his “controlled aggression” and infectious energy aiding him the most. He said it while previewing the three-Test series, with West Indies legend Brian Lara on online platform ‘100mb’. The match marks the resumption of international cricket amid the Covid-19 pandemic. To a question from Lara about Stokes, Tendulkar said, “He is someone who is going to lead from the front; we have seen that on a number of occasions. He is aggressive, positive and when he has to be slightly defensive he is prepared to do that for the team. I always feel controlled aggression produces results and so far whatever I have seen, the aggression has been there but it is controlled. So this is what I think of Ben Stokes.” It is the first time Stokes is leading England having not captained even a first-class team in his career. Regular skipper Joe Root has opted out of the game to attend the birth of his second child.

Tendulkar continued, “For Ben Stokes from what he has been through in the recent past to where he is today it is a total transformation and it can happen only to someone who is mentally strong. When I first looked at him a few years ago, I could see his body language it was so positive and vibrant and that energy is infectious. I felt that he was one of those players where in time to come you look back and say Ben stokes, (Andrew) Flintoff, Ian Botham these are the leading all-rounders who played for England. I really rate him highly and his impact on the field is a major one.”