Cumbria’s Ben Stokes will be out to prove he is the world’s premier all-rounder ahead of Jason Holder when England take on the West Indies next month, according to the tourists’ head coach Phil Simmons.

Windies captain Holder occupies top spot in the ICC’s Test all-rounder rankings above Stokes, who since the start of last year has averaged 47.39 with the bat and 32.6 with the ball.

Impressive as those figures unquestionably are, Holder has a better record in the same period - 49.14 with the bat and 17.25 with the ball - albeit from only five Tests, nine fewer than Stokes.

However, Simmons believes the pair’s competitive natures could prove an intriguing subplot to the three-Test series which gets under way behind closed doors on July 8 at the ‘bio-secure’ Ageas Bowl.

Speaking via Zoom conference call, Simmons said: “The rivalry is always there because I think Ben is the type of person who wants to be number one and when Jason is up there, (Stokes) is always going to be looking to do his best to get up to Jason’s position.

“The rivalry will be there throughout the series and whenever the two guys are playing...they’re competitive in all aspects so I think that rivalry is going to be huge for this series.

“We know we have to get Stokes out, I think Jason’s bowling is a stronger point than his batting and vice-versa with Stokes. It’s a case of trying to get Stokes early.”