Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene has proclaimed that Ben Stokes will be a ‘brilliant’ captain for England as he has always been a ‘brilliant competitor and a different beast altogether.’ The England and Walkes Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday appointed Stokes for the post to replace Joe Root.
Ben Stokes on Thursday was named the new captain of England's Test side. The 30-year-old all-rounder will take over the reins from Joe Root, who stepped down from the top post earlier this month after England's 1-0 series defeat in West Indies.
Former Sri Lankan cricketer and the Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach Mahela Jayawardene lauded the decision of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to appoint Stokes for the role. Jayawardene believes Stokes can be a 'brilliant' captain for England as he has always had competitive aggression in him.
"I think he (Stokes) will be a brilliant captain. He has been around for a while and shown again and again that he is a brilliant competitor and he is a different beast altogether when he is on the field," Jayawardene said on The ICC Review.
"England haven't seen an all-rounder captaining their Test team for a long time and I think he is the ideal candidate. Having his type of character (as captain) might create a culture which they have had with white-ball cricket recently, but now need to find that same kind of culture with red-ball cricket.
Speaking about Root's new role in England Test set up, Jayawardene added that Root is going to benefit from the move.
"Joe has been batting incredibly for the last three or four years and he will continue to flourish, there is no doubt about that. I think he felt it was the best chance for everyone (relinquishing the captaincy) and I think he is going to benefit from that as he can just concentrate on his batting. Knowing the competitor he is, he would have been disappointed if he had to make that call (stand down), but in the long run, I think he will definitely benefit from that."
Stokes will have his first full-time England captaincy against New Zealand at Lord's on June 2.