Ben Stokes rules out captaincy ambition as Joe Root faces backlash
England captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood have been under-fire since England lost the Ashes series 4-0
Stokes is currently the vice-captain of the England team
The all-rounder also backed Root and Silverwood as they faced criticism
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder, has ruled out his ambition to become England’s Test captain and threw his weight behind under-fire skipper Joe Root and head coach Chris Silverwood after England suffered 4-0 Ashes series defeat in Australia.
Root has come under fire for his captaincy during the Ashes with Geoffrey Boycott, Michael Atherton, Ian Chappell and Ricky Ponting among his more high-profile critics.
"I've never really had an ambition to be a captain," Stokes, the England vice-captain, told reporters.
The 30-year-old has led England in one previous Test, a defeat by West Indies in 2020 when Root was on paternity leave.
He also led England to a 3-0 ODI series win over Pakistan last year when an entire squad had to be replaced because of an outbreak of COVID-19.
"Captaincy is more than about setting fields, picking the team, making decisions out there in the middle.
"A captain is someone you want to go out and play for. Joe Root is someone I always want to play for." Root is set to become England's longest-serving Test skipper when he leads the side out in the fourth Test here on Wednesday. He will overtake predecessor Alastair Cook, who captained the side for a record 59 matches.
While Root has been in imperious touch with the bat, this is the third Ashes series he has led without a win, but Stokes doesn't expect the 31-year-old to step down just yet.
"It's totally Joe's decision. He shouldn't be forced into doing it. I'm sure Cooky (Alastair Cook) felt the same way. He did it for so long and when he knew his time was up, his time was up.
"Those discussions haven't entered anywhere near Joe yet. I don't sense that at all with Joe. He's brought this team a long way. He's done some great things. "Obviously this series hasn't gone too well, not from a captaincy point of view, but from a team and results point of view," he said.
Stokes backed Silverwood
"Unfortunately, the captain and coach bear the scrutiny, but there are 10 other guys out there in the field," said Stokes.
"Chris Silverwood is a real players' coach. He stands up for you as individuals and players as well.
"All the hype in the media recently about their futures, it's your job to write that, but they know full well they have the support of everyone in there and that's all that matters," Stokes said.