‘Some players don’t need an armband to lead’: Hussain on Stokes
What makes him even more special is the fact that he can do it in all formats, be it Test cricket or either of the limited-overs versions. This makes him a special player and such players are often considered for the position of captaincy.Updated: Jun 30, 2020 16:40 IST
There is no doubt about the fact that Ben Stokes is perhaps the most important player to have played cricket for England in a long time. His prowess with both bat and ball and ability to perform under extreme pressure has seen him guide his team to glory several times. The fact that England can call themselves the champions of 50-over cricket for the first time in close to 50 years of its inception is because of Stokes’ heroics.
What makes him even more special is the fact that he can do it in all formats, be it Test cricket or either of the limited-overs versions. This makes him a special player and such players are often considered for the position of captaincy. Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels Stokes is the ideal candidate to fill in for Joe Root, who will miss the outing as his wife is expecting their second child, in the opening Test against West Indies but he doesn’t consider it a good idea to hand Stokes the captaincy in the future.
“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 wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“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,” he added.
Hussain feels Stokes already has a very high workload being a match-winner for the team with both bat and ball and the added burden of captaincy might affect his performance.
“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,” Hussain wrote.
“I don’t think there’s anyone in world cricket who does as much as Ben Stokes. Maybe Virat Kohli but he doesn’t bowl. Stokes’ plate is full and when he does something there are never any half measures. Stokes has to do everything at a hundred miles per hour -- there is no other way for him.
“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.