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LONDON: Former English skippers – Michael Vaughan and Michael Atherton have thrown their weight behind the flamboyant all-rounder Ben Stokes to become the new England Test captain.
Stokes, who previously said that he would turn down the offer to captain the side if his friend Joe Root gets sacked. But, with Root, resigning from the position on his own, may result in the former accepting the role conveniently.
Vaughan, who led England in 51 Tests and an Ashes triumph, termed Stokes as a natural choice.
“I don’t see anyone else who could take the position and be guaranteed of their place in the side,” said Vaughan referring to Stokes.
“In 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,” he added.
Atherton, who captained England in 54 matches, termed Stokes as a ‘stop-gap captain’.
“That Root stepped down of his own accord makes it easier now for Ben Stokes, the only viable candidate, to take over,” wrote Atherton in The Times.
“Loyalty is everything to Stokes and he would not have wanted to take over had he felt that Root had been pushed aside,” his statement added.
“Stokes should be given the job, but it does not have to be for the long term. A short, sharp shock is required,” Atherton concluded.
It is pertinent to mention here that Root, who captained England in the record 64 Test matches, has decided to resign from his position on Friday after his side’s below-par performance in the longest format.