Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting (Credits: Twitter)

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Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder is the only player who can replace Joe Root as Test captain and turn their fortunes around following the team’s meek surrender in the Ashes 2021/22 series, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Saturday.

Joe Root has come under intense pressure since England lost the third Test last week as Australia took an unassailable 3-0 Ashes lead. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper From Joe Root: Australia Ex-Skipper Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes is the only man who can be the captain of England’s Test side, believes former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. He added that Ben Stokes could improve his own game with the leadership thrust to him. With England’s Test fortunes crumbling under current captain Joe Root, questions have been asked on whether a change in captaincy will revive the team in the longest format of the game.

“The only person that can take over is Ben Stokes,” Ricky Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website.

“I think Stokes would actually grow as a player if he was the captain of that side. I think with a bit of extra responsibility, he might become an even better player and that might have a good impact on the rest of the team.”

Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I don’t know Stokes that well, but if I was trying to change the face of English cricket and trying to give a bit more of a heartbeat and a bit more soul, then I think he’d be the one that I’d be looking at to lead the team.”

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ben Stokes States He Has No Ambition To Be England Captain

Ben Stokes, who scored 66 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test as he battled through a left side strain, has also been considered a viable option to replace Joe Root by former England skipper Mike Atherton. However, Ben Stokes said before the fourth Test that he has no ambition to be captain and backed Joe Root to remain in the England role despite calls for the Yorkshireman to stand down.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Australia, 3-0 up, having dominated the game, had their dreams of a whitewash shattered as England finally salvaged something from the wreck of this Ashes tour with Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson surviving 64 balls under floodlights to secure a thrilling draw at the SCG.

Jack Leach and Stuart Broad faced 52 of them, most of which were against Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Mitchell Starc before bad light forced Australia to turn to Steve Smith and he almost became a hero with the ball. He prized out Jack Leach, his first Test scalp since 2016, caught at slip after England’s spinner had battled well for 34 balls without error.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson survived six balls each from Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith respectively and England’s veterans held on. It was only the second time in Ashes history a team had saved a game nine-down in the fourth innings, the first being the famous 2005 draw at Manchester.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)