Joe Root relinquished Test captaincy on Friday in
the backdrop of England’s lacklustre performance in the last 17 Tests. Root won
just one Test in those matches. A 1-0 loss to West Indies, followed by a 4-0
Ashes drubbing by Australia, further dented Root’s ability to lead England in
the whites. The prolific batter holds the record for winning 27 Tests, the most
by an England captain but at the same time, he lost 26 matches.
As Root stepped down as Test captain,
former England captains Mike Atherton, Nasser Hussain, and Michael Vaughan
shared their opinions about the next captain.
Vaughan chose vice-captain Ben Stokes as
the successor of Root. He said the all-rounder “has got a smart brain” and
will have the “respect” of his players.
“I don’t see anyone else who could
take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side,” Vaughan
told the BBC.
“In Ben Stokes, you have clearly
got someone who has got a smart cricket brain, he’s going to give it
everything, he is certainly going to have the respect of the players around
Legendary England batter and former
captain Michael Atherton believes Stokes is the “obvious” replacement
Hussain also threw his weight behind
Stokes. He said the all-rounder is “naturally gifted” but England
would have to be sure he can cope with the demands of the role.
“You have to be in a good place
mentally and physically to do the job — and Ben has had his problems away from
the field,” Hussain wrote in his Daily Mail column.
Last year in July, Stokes took an
indefinite break to focus on his mental health while also recovering from a
second operation on a broken finger, but returned to the England squad for the
The 30-year-old has not been
training since suffering pain in his left knee in March but he is on course to
return for the County Championship next month for Durham.
“Whoever the new director of
cricket is, the first thing they must do is … sit down with Stokes, look him
in the eye and find out where he is,” Hussain said.
The former skipper also said that Stuart
Broad can be appointed captain for a short duration. Broad is England’s
second-highest wicket-taker in tests, but the 35-year-old was omitted from the
squad for their tour of the West Indies last month.
“Stuart has a brilliant cricket
brain, lots of experience and is a fighter who wants to win every game he plays
in,” Hussain said.
“He has a point to prove after the
last couple of months and we know how dangerous he can be in those