Ben Stokes is the ‘only option’ to replace Joe Root as England’s Test captain, according to former skipper Michael Vaughan.
Root, 31, quit Friday morning after nearly five years in the job.
The Yorkshire man, who succeeded Sir Alastair Cook as captain in 2017, ended his tenure with the most matches and victories as England’s Test skipper.
But he also recorded the most losses in the job, and his decision follows a win of just one win in 17 Tests, including a 1-0 defeat to the Caribbean last month and a 4-0 Ashes loss to Australia over the winter.
England and the Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have not yet given any indication as to who will replace Root, but Vaughan believes vice-captain Stokes is the only plausible candidate.
“There’s only one person who should take over the test team now, and that’s Ben Stokes,” Vaughan wrote in a column for the Daily Telegraph.
‘When someone takes over the mantle, you have no idea what they want to be like. But he has a fantastic cricket brain – you can see that when he strikes. And his willingness to win is incredible.
‘Yes, Stokes does not have as much experience as captain. But sometimes it’s not so important if you have a presence and feel for the game.
‘My little concern is that Ben will try to do everything – he will not get his own performance right if he goes in with that mentality.
‘It’s just about getting the right people in the right positions – England have a lot of support staff that they need to get a grip. And Joe Root could be his biggest ally.
‘He does not want to be vice-captain, but he will be able to give Ben his honest feedback day in, day out. They are very close. ‘
Other players who have been named as possible captain candidates are fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson, though both were left out of England’s squad for the recent Caribbean tour.
The former English captains, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, agree with Vaughan that Stokes is the ‘obvious’ candidate to take over the team.
“You have to pick one that is worth its place on the page,” Atherton told Sky Sports. “I think the days are long gone when one could have a Mike Brearley-like figure who would not necessarily be a first choice.
“Just because of the scrutiny, you have to be worth your place in the side, so Ben Stokes is the obvious candidate.”
Hussain added: ‘For me, the obvious candidate is Ben Stokes. People say, “Oh, Ben Stokes,” you know what happened [Andrew] Flintoff and [Sir Ian] Botham?
‘Ben Stokes is not Flintoff and he is not Botham, do not judge him by how other people have done it.
‘Stokes has done some phenomenal things as a cricketer and has a very smart cricket brain. He showed that when he occasionally took over from Joe Root. ‘
Speaking immediately after England’s series defeat in the West Indies, Root said he wanted to remain captain ahead of this summer’s Test against New Zealand, South Africa and India.
But in a statement released Friday morning, he confirmed that he had changed his mind and added: ‘It has been the most challenging decision I have had to make in my career – but after discussing this with my family and my loved ones, I know. the timing is right.
‘I’m immensely proud to have been captain of my country and will look back on the last five years with immense pride.
‘It has been an honor to have done the job and to have been a guardian of what is the pinnacle of English cricket.
“I have loved leading my country, but recently it has hit home how much it has taken on me and what impact it has had on me away from the game.”
For more stories like this, check out our sports page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.