Video - England v New Zealand: Yorkshire’s Joe Root backs Ben Stokes to deliver again at Headingley

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JOE ROOT is confident Ben Stokes will continue to deliver for England after his match-winning exploits at Lord’s.

Stokes produced a brilliant all-round performance to the delight of a partisan full house as England went 1-0 up in the Investec Test series against his native New Zealand.

Joe Root.

Joe Root.

The 23-year-old has had mixed fortunes, and headlines, since first grabbing the attention of England supporters with a maiden century in his second Test against Australia in Perth almost 18 months ago.

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But after sharing a crucial counter-attacking stand with him in England’s first innings last week, and then watching as Stokes smashed Lord’s fastest ever century second time round, Root is convinced there is much more in the locker.

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The England vice-captain, just five months older than Stokes, senses his team-mate is “growing up” and will be able to deal with the extra attention sure to come his way.

“He will be fine,” said Sheffield-born Root.

“The thing about Ben is, every time he pulls on the shirt he gives absolutely everything.

“I don’t think that is going to change.”

Stokes relishes the thick of the action and England appear to have concluded they will get the best out of him by putting him centre stage whenever possible.

Root added: “When he is bowling, he will run in until he barely can’t move any more - if he is given that choice.

“When he is batting, he is a free spirit; he goes and plays his shots and puts sides under pressure.

“In the field, he is dynamic, he can field anywhere.

“He is one of those blokes you want in the side because he rubs off on you and gives everything.”

Ryan Sidebottom pictured  at Headingley yesterday. Picture: Simon Hulme

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