Home Cricket Michael Atherton backs Ben Stokes to replace Joe Roots as England Captain

Michael Atherton backs Ben Stokes to replace Joe Roots as England Captain


English cricket has seen one of the worst performances of their history in the ongoing Ashes. They are trailing by 3 – 0 and will look to save some pride in the next two test matches. The likes of Ponting termed this English side as the worst touring team in the Ashes history and critics couldn’t agree more to it.

Now Michael Atherton has backed Ben Stokes as the best alternative to Root’s captaincy. in his column of the times, Atherton said, “There have been so many errors here, from selection to strategy, that the captain has to bear personal responsibility… This could have been a much closer series had Root got things right on the field.”

Ben Stokes is a viable alternative, having done an excellent job as a stand-in briefly in the summer. His bowling is starting to wind down, and, as he may not get into England’s best T20 side now, he can be given a breather during those matches” wrote Atherton.

While Root could be made a scapegoat for taking the wrong decisions which included leaving out Broad and Anderson from the green top wicket at Gabba and going all-out with a seam attack on an Adelaide pitch that is known for spin assistance, one cannot deny the fact that the captain has been the lone warrior for England, at least with his bat. The captain has led from the front and has scored more than 1700 runs in 2021. The second-best Rory Burns does not even cross 600 runs for the year whereas Extras stands at number three.

Speaking on SkySports, Nasser Hussain backed Joe Roots and said that the captain cannot be held responsible for the failures of batsmen when he is the one leading the runs by a mile. England had suffered numerous collapses this year in Test Cricket and their decision-making has raised eyebrows many times.

During the Lord’s test where India was on the verge of getting bowled for cheap, England’s bowlers adopted the tit-to-tat approach and started sending bouncers to Indian tailenders Bumrah and Shami. This was in response to the bouncers from Jasprit Bumrah to England veteran James Anderson.

India tailenders not only survived but managed to get plenty of runs for them to defend. With only sixty overs left, and 8 hours of gameplay, India folded out England for 120 runs and won the game by 151 runs. England acknowledged that they went with the emotions and could have got India out cheaply in the morning if their bowlers had bowled routine line and length to the tailenders.

Atherton says that the current captain has had ample opportunities in five years which included three Ashes. England lost by 4 – 0 in the 2017 Australia Ashes tour and drew the 2019 Ashes by 2 – 2 in their home. They may be able to save some pride in the Sydney and Hobart Test provided that the tour goes on as the Covid has sneaked through both England and Australian camps.

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