England's new cricket chief Rob Key believes Ben Stokes can get the best out of a new-look squad this summer.

Cumbrian star Stokes' first series as captain gets under way against New Zealand next month.

The Cockermouth all-rounder's first squad includes uncapped duo Harry Brook and Matthew Potts.

Ollie Pope, meanwhile, is set for promotion to number three in the batting order.

Key believes skipper Stokes, along with newly-appointed Test coach Brendon McCullum, can tap into the talent at their disposal and turn England's recent fortunes around.

"If you ask who is the best at numbers one to 11 you'd probably put Joe Root down as all of those. But after that we feel Ollie Pope is the man," said Key, the managing director of England men's cricket.

"With a lot of these guys the bet is that the talent they have, in this environment, with these coaches, Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes will get the best out of our most talented cricketers.

"Ollie Pope is one of those if we can unlock him, which I think they can.

"I think he can be a seriously good Test cricketer. He has a technique and temperament, but it's down to us really to get the best out of him."

Stokes' first squad also includes returning pace legends Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.

READ MORE: Cumbrian star Ben Stokes is appointed new England Test captain

Yorkshire batsman Brook has been rewarded for a prolific start to the LV= Insurance County Championship season, while Durham bowler Potts' 35 wickets at 18.57 so far this season made his case.

On the latter, Key added: "Ben Stokes has seen him close at hand, I've seen a lot of him on the stream and the scouts have seen a hell of a lot of him.

"They understand his character, and that's the one thing that really stood out when people are talking about him.

"There's a lot of people who can run in and get the ball down there at various different paces but it's the character really.

"You see the way he runs in, the way that it looks like if you're facing him, you're in a proper contest. These are the picks I get really excited about."

The first Test is at Lord's on June 2.