England's red-ball captain Joe Root, earlier this month, endorsed all-rounder Ben Stokes as captain during his unavailability for the Windies Test series opener. But English cricket commentator and former cricketer David Gower has reservations over the handing Stokes the England captaincy.
Root is slated to miss the Southampton opener against West Indies as his wife is due to give birth to their second child. In his absence, the responsibility of leading the team will go to Stokes who is presently the vice-captain of the team. But Gower reckons that Stokes should be allowed to focus on the game and be a leader by example rather than being burdened by the captaincy responsibility.
Gower said, "All have said how good he will be. I’ve said it before, but I prefer Ben Stokes to be your de facto leader by example. He works his nuts off, and trains super hard. He’s a driven cricketer.
"The obvious comparison is Beefy [Ian Botham], who was of that ilk, who inspired and led just by being there. Whether that is diminished by the pressures of leadership, only Ben will know.
"I’m sure he’ll do it with gusto. I’d just want someone else to worry about the bits and pieces that make up captaincy."
Earlier, Root heaped praise on Stokes and his leadership qualities before opining that he would be good fit for the role.
"If Ben was captain, he would be fantastic," said Root.
"One of his great qualities as vice-captain is he sets the example - the way he goes about his training, how he wants to bowl in difficult circumstances, the way he stands up in different scenarios with the bat.
"He drags people with him and gets the best out of the players around him.
"That's a great quality to have as a leader and something he can take into captaincy if he was to get the opportunity. I could see him doing a very good job," he added.