Former England head coach Trevor Bayliss has wholeheartedly endorsed Ben Stokes ' appointment as the new Test captain, having first touted him as a potential skipper back in 2016.
After England drew their two-Test series against Bangladesh, losing the final match by 108 runs, then captain Alastair Cook came under fire. And while Joe Root was considered Cook's natural successor at the time, Bayliss named Stokes as a future captain when asked if anyone else in the squad could replace Cook.
"We were on a tour of Bangladesh and the England journos asked at a press conference if there was anyone else in the squad besides Joe Root who could take over from 'Cookie'," Bayliss told Australian outlet the Age. "I said Ben Stokes and they all laughed."
Now almost six years later, Stokes has been given the job, replacing Root who stood down after a five-year reign. And Bayliss has backed Stokes to excel as skipper, adding: "I think he'll do a good job if he stays true to himself and continues to play the game in his fashion.
"He's one of those captains who will not only lead by example, which he does already, he'll do it with a very positive outlook. He's always looking for the positive angle to make things happen. I think he'll be good for the team."
And Stokes wants to build a side moulded in his image, urging his teammates to focus solely on winning and to never "take a backwards step". He said: "I want everybody to be selfless in the decisions they make.
"And make sure every decision they make in a match is with the intention to win the game for England. It's always been my main goal playing for England to think about what I need to do to win this game when I have the responsibility on my shoulders, whatever stage of the game it is.
"That's always been my main priority. Personal milestones and individual performances have never been at the top of my priority list.
"It's always been about the end result of the game which is winning. So I'd love to have 10 people with the same mentality as me and aren't going to take a backwards step."
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