Rob Key, the new Managing Director of England Men’s cricket, has met with Ben Stokes and the all-rounder has accepted the offer to become the new Test captain of the England men’s team. He takes over from his good friend Joe Root, under whom England have won only one of the last 17 Tests despite his outstanding brilliance with the bat.
This is the final move in the so-called “reset” of the Test team following their series loss in Australia and then in West Indies. Although Ben Stokes will be facing a number of challenges and major decisions as England Test captain, he’s without a doubt the best man to lead the side post Root.
Here are three reasons why Ben Stokes is the ideal candidate for the Test captaincy job:
Ben Stokes was the only option for England
Well, first of all, Ben Stokes is the only other player after Joe Root who, at the moment, has a certain spot in the playing eleven, with Jonny Bairstow only recently gaining a longer rope in the Test side with a century each in Australia and England.
Ben Stokes was the vice-captain when Root was the skipper and with Jos Buttler dropped from the Test squad, he remains their only available option.
Ben Stokes has the respect of everyone
The first sign of his commitment towards the Test team was when Stokes, arguably the best all-rounder currently, opted out of the IPL 2022 mega-auction – where he’d have expectedly bagged a contract worth at least a million dollars and perhaps more – and decided to spend time playing red-ball cricket domestically to prepare for the upcoming Test matches at home versus New Zealand and India.
Just like Root, Ben Stokes also has got the respect of all the cricketers in the English dressing room. They look up to him to be a role model on the field, even though the all-rounder has had issues off the field earlier.
The maverick cricketer willing to give his all to the team
Ben Stokes is one of the best batters going around in the world, yet his competitiveness, the desire to win every moment, and the willingness to give every ounce of energy is seen in his bowling. He’d gone into the West Indies series with an injury that limited his bowling. But, whenever Root needed someone to step up with the ball, he turned to Stokes, who delivered. Stokes threw down 99 overs in that series – the second-most by an England bowler after spinner Jack Leach – and returned with 7 wickets at 26, the second-best in his side.
Ben Stokes is a maverick cricketer whose powers are well known and there’s the aura of making something happen every time he’s involved with either bat or ball.