Ben Stokes should replace Joe Root as England captain but he will need senior support – Vaughan

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has played in 79 tests, 101 one-day internationals and 34 Twenty20s for England

Ben Stokes should replace Joe Root as England Test captain, says former England skipper Michael Vaughan.

Vaughan told the BBC’s Test Match Special podcast that vice-captain Stokes was best placed to take over but would need support.

“I don’t see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side,” Vaughan said.

“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 him.”

Stokes took a break from cricket in July for his mental wellbeing but returned to the England squad for the Ashes series.

The all-rounder has not been training after suffering pain in his left knee during England’s tour of the West Indies in March but he is hoping to make a return to county side Durham next month.

“Stokes is everything in a person and a player that you would want but he will need a lot of support around him because when you have got that all-rounder tag and they’ve got that persona that they think they can do everything,” Vaughan said.

“You need a senior core around him to give him a few pointers.

“You need to have someone say ‘listen Ben, just concentrate on what you’re really good at’ and that’s out on the field, making decisions and trying to just give us your best performance.”

The 30-year-old captained a young England side to a 3-0 ODI series victory against Pakistan last summer after a Covid outbreak caused England to name an entirely new 18-man squad.

“If he performs like we know he can he will lead the team by example,” Vaughan added.

However, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew said he had concerns about Stokes possibly succeeding Root.

“There are so few candidates that it rules out any kind of long-term appointment,” Agnew said.

“Someone like Ben Stokes could be one if he is fit enough, but I do not know if it is good for Stokes or for English cricket if he was saddled with the captaincy.

“You look back at the big characters that have captained England like Ian Botham, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff – they have all failed as captains. We all want Stokes to go out there and express himself.”

Choosing the next captain will be the first task for the new management hierarchy, with England in the process of appointing a new managing director and head coach following the departures of Ashley Giles and Chris Silverwood after the Ashes.

Root led England for a record 64 Tests and won more (27) and lost more (26) than any other man to have led the side, though only one of those victories came in the last 17 Tests.

It had been expected that any decision on his future would only be made with the new managing director and head coach in place.

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