Joe Root sheds light on captaincy rumours if Stokes fails to recover
Joe Root at the press conference (Getty Images)
The English cricket team is set to engage in its first Test tussle in Pakistan in nearly 17 years. Ahead of the historic occasion, several players within the touring English camp have been struck with a viral infection. As per several reports, Test captain Ben Stokes is one of them.
Stokes’ predecessor Joe Root has been tipped by many to take over captaincy in case the all-rounder fails to recover in time. However, while speaking with the reporters in Rawalpindi a day before the series opener, Root himself clarified his stance over the possibility amidst several rumours.
England team struck with illness ahead of first Test
Root declines captaincy return, names likely candidate
During the pre-match presser, former captain Joe Root confirmed that several players have been infected with illness and had to skip the optional training session on Wednesday.
When asked if he would return to lead England again if Stokes failed to recover, the charismatic batter declined the offer straightaway. The cricketer named Ollie Pope as the replacement skipper instead, and said that the 24-year-old also did the job in the warm-up match in Abu Dhabi last week. Root said:
“I don’t think so. Ollie Pope did the job in the warm-up and would do a fantastic job.”
Joe Root also stated that the team is hopeful of unwell players to be fine by the opening morning of the first Test.
“Marcus Trescothick, Rob Key and Brendon McCullum are getting ready. Seriously people are unwell, but we are hopeful they will be fine in the morning. I felt unwell yesterday but woke up much better today.”