‘Never really had an ambition to be a captain’ – Ben Stokes on the prospects of replacing Joe Root as England’s Test skipper

Stokes reckoned that Root may still have some way to go as a captain in the purest format.

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Joe Root and Ben Stokes
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Joe Root and Ben Stokes. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

All-round Ben Stokes revealed that he hasn’t had an ambition of leading England’s Test team going into the future. Of late, speculations of Stokes replacing Joe Root as the Three Lions’ skipper in Tests have been doing the rounds after the latter’s horror show in the ongoing Ashes.

England are currently trailing the five-match series 0-3 following heavy losses in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. Root, in fact, has garnered the highest number of losses by a Brits’ skipper in Test cricket. Stokes reckoned that Root may still have some way to go as a captain.

Ben Stokes shares his opinions

“I’ve never really had an ambition to be a captain. That’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. When he knew his time was up, his time was up [but] those discussions haven’t been entered anywhere near Joe,” Stokes was quoted as saying to the reporters, ESPNcricinfo reported.

Back in July 2020, Stokes captained England in the opening Test against the West Indies when Root was away on paternity leave. He also led the national team in the ODI series against Pakistan after COVID-19 cases entered the home team’s camp.

Having already lost the Ashes, England are in danger of facing a series whitewash with matches left in Sydney and Hobart. Stokes lent Root support, saying that the latter has helped England garner numerous laurels and has carried the team on his shoulders.

“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. Unfortunately, the captain and coach bear the scrutiny for that but there are 10 other guys out there in the field beside the captain,” Stokes added.

The fourth Ashes Test is set to get underway on Wednesday, January 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It’s pertinent to note that the Three Lions have lost 12 of their last 13 Tests on Australian soil.

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