While many in the cricketing world believe Joe Root to be the automatic choice for leading the English Test team after Alastair Cook stepped down from the captaincy, former English cricketer, Graeme Swann believes that the star batsman is not the right candidate to lead the side. Instead, he picked veteran pacer Stuart Broad to be appointed as Cook’s able successor.
Swann, who scalped 255 wickets in the 60 Tests he played for England, is now a Test match Pundit. According to reports from British publication Daily Mirror, Swann said, “I think I’m the only person in the world who says no to Joe Root as England captain. If it was down to me right now I’d give Stuart Broad the job.”
Not only this, the former English tweaker who had played with Root, in the latter’s early days in cricket, said that the English middle-order batsman was trying hard to prove that he had the ingredients for a captain and this had led him to lose that little bit of dazzle and exuberance in his batting. “I think Joe is growing into a more mature player and he is trying to be more serious and trying to prove to everyone that he’s got the character to be captain,” he said. “But I think it is actually affecting his batting already and he’s not the cheeky, dynamic, ‘joie de vivre’-type player that he was two or three years ago,” Swann added.
He further stated, “He’s not scoring the same huge amount of runs, he’s being consistent, but I think he’s just lost a little bit in trying to be this captain material and I really worry.”
Instead, Swann believes that Number 3 batsman in Test cricket is the best willow-wielder the country has produced and that he can perform much better without the burden of captaincy. He concluded saying, “I think we should leave Joe Root to be the best batsman this country has ever produced which he would be without the burden of being the captain. I wish they would leave him alone.”
Swann might have reasons of preferring Broad ahead of Root to be the captain of the English Test side as the seasoned pacer already has captaincy experience as he led England in the World T20 in 2014. Also, he has captained the national side in an ODI series against the West Indies. His captaincy impressed many including legendary English cricketer Michael Vaughan who had earlier lauded Broad’s impressive leadership skills.
On the other hand, if Root is given the job, then he might not fare as poorly as Swann thinks so. The Yorkshire batsman could also end up being a more mature and responsible batter while leading the side which would enable him to join the likes of stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Steven Smith and Kane Williamson as being responsible, mature batsmen and at the same time, great leaders.After their humiliating 4-0 defeat in the hands of India, the English team’s next assignment will be at home against a strong South African Test side. It would be very interesting to see as to who is picked as England’s next Test captain.