Nasser Hussain has insisted Ben Stokes was the "right choice" to become England's new Test captain, with the 30-year-old officially named as Joe Root's successor on Thursday.
Stokes is the first all-rounder to captain England in Test cricket since Andrew Flintoff took charge for 11 Tests between 2006 and 2007. Flintoff did not have much success in the role though, winning just two of those matches and suffering a humiliating 5-0 whitewash against Australia in the Ashes.
Fellow legendary all-rounder Ian Botham also had a brief stint captaining England between 1980 and 1981, leading the side for 12 Test matches. However, his reign went even worse than Flintoff's, with England failing to win a single Test.
Despite comparisons inevitably being made between the three all-rounders, Hussain has urged fans not to "judge Stokes by how Ian Botham or Freddie Flintoff got on". In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain wrote: "Ben Stokes was the right choice to become England's new Test captain.
"As Rob Key, the director of cricket, said on Thursday, he wasn't the only choice… he was the best one. A few people have pointed out that two other great all-rounders didn't work out as England captain.
"But don't judge Stokes by how Ian Botham or Freddie Flintoff got on. And while we are talking about all-rounders, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Shaun Pollock all captained their countries with distinction.
"A few others seem worried that you should not burden one of your best players with the job. Well, Joe Root has been England's best batter for years, and it didn't hinder his run-scoring.
"Virat Kohli took India to the top of the Test rankings. Australians Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh were in charge of two of the greatest teams of all time. The point is that Ben is his own man.
"He's driven, he's got a good cricket brain and he's been vice-captain. He's passionate and caring. Why wouldn't you make him captain?"
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