Ben Stokes has been viewed by many as the next England captain
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has backed Ben Stokes to take over the England Test captaincy from Joe Root. The England skipper has been lambasted for his tactics and mentality in the ongoing Ashes, where they currently trail 0-3.
The 31-year-old took over as captain of the Test team following Sir Alastair Cook’s resignation. After more than four years at the helm, the talk of stepping aside has been stronger than ever. Ben Stokes is viewed by many as an ideal candidate to replace Joe Root, including Ponting.
While speaking on-air for Channel 7, the 47-year-old said:
“I think it’s time. I think four or five years in the job – having been there and done it myself, and with what they’ve done in the last couple of years – I think it’s time for him to move on and give someone else [a chance] and that someone else has to be Ben Stokes.”
The all-rounder briefly led the side in the second Test in Adelaide when Joe Root was off the field. Stokes has led England in ODI cricket before. The 30-year-old captained a second-string England squad and emerged victorious by a 3-0 margin against Pakistan.
Ben Stokes does not see himself as a candidate for captaincy
Following their poor showing in the Ashes, there has been immense heat on the likes of captain Joe Root and coach Chris Silverwood. Ben Stokes, however, dismissed all of the captaincy talks and assured his full support to the under-fire Root. Describing ‘a lack of ambition’ for the captaincy role, Stokes said:
“I’ve never really had an ambition to be a captain. It’s totally Joe’s decision, he shouldn’t be forced into doing it. I don’t sense that at all with Joe. The most important people’s opinions are those guys in the dressing room and they’ve got our thorough support.A captain is someone you want to go out and play for. Joe Root is someone I always want to play for.”
England are staring to the bottom now with another loss around the corner. Australia have set a massive 388-run target for visitors to scale with four sessions to go. To make matters worse, Ben Stokes is doubtful for the fifth and final Test at Hobart.