Former English captain Naseer Hussain has not fallen short of words on claiming Ben Stokes’ importance for England. Since his comeback from the controversial row of street brawl incident in 2017, Ben Stokes has emerged as a match-winner for England, regardless of the format. The 29-year-old was at the forefront of England’s successful campaign in the 2019 World Cup and a satisfactory Ashes series after that.
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Due to the bar fight incident in 2017, Ben Stokes had to spend a long time out of the national side. The same fiasco also saw the left-handed batsman lose his vice-captaincy of the Test team. Stokes’ performances in the 2019 World Cup, especially in the final, earned him the position again. And in the first Test against the West Indies on the 8th of July, he would serve as the captain for the first time.
Nasser Hussain hailed Ben Stokes as the best candidate to fill in for Joe Root as the skipper, who would miss the first Test in anticipation of the birth of his second child. On the 27th of July, Stokes was reappointed as the vice-captain of the whites for England.
“There is no one better than Ben Stokes to step in for Joe Root as a short-term captain when England take on West Indies in the first Test next week,” Hussain stated as quoted by Hindustan Times.
Hussain also labelled the New Zealand born all-rounder as very loyal and would happily hand it over to Root when he comes back. Being his first time as a leader, Nasser Hussain backs Stokes to bring the passion and the maximum level of energy.
“Stokes is extremely loyal, so Root would not have to worry he would be handing his job over to someone with any kind of ulterior motive of wanting to take it for good. When Joe returns, Ben will happily hand the captaincy back to him. He will certainly bring passion and energy to captaincy,”
Some players do not need an armband to lead and Ben Stokes is one of them: Nasser Hussain
The 52-year old is all support for Ben Stokes as a short-term option for captain but fears his performance may go down if appointed as a permanent one. The Chennai-born commentator underlined that with a captain as full-time, the expectancies, selections, and many other things could weigh a player down.
“The long term is a different matter. With the full-time England captaincy comes expectancy, selection, ups and downs, and a lot of things that can weigh you down. So I would be concerned about giving it to Ben permanently at some point down the line,”
Nasser concluded by stating that the all-rounder’s workload is way too much right now and the longer he serves as captain, the more his performance graph can go down. England cannot afford to lose the services of Ben Stokes due to leadership duties and he doesn’t need it to be the spearhead.
“So his workload is in the red zone without the mental strain of captaincy and history tells you if you give the job to your best all-rounder, the graph will go down the longer he does the job. The last thing England need is for Stokes to be affected by high office. Some players do not need an armband to lead and Stokes is one of them,” he added.