Former England Nasser Hussain heaped praise on Ben Stokes for changing the way England play Test cricket since taking over the captaincy role from Joe Root. Under Stokes, England have played four Tests, won all four of them creating a record for becoming the first side to chase four consecutive 250-plus scores in Test cricket. England's cricket went through a series of changes of a string of losses in Test cricket. Ashley Giles was replaced as ECB's director by Rob Key, who roped in Brendon McCullum as head coach after Chris Silverwood resigned. Ben Stokes was given the red-ball captaincy duties as Joe Root quit.
Hussain said there was a lot of talk around how Key would go about the administrative duties or how Stokes would lead the Test side but both of them have answered in grand style with never-before-seen victories.
"When Key was appointed managing director, there were people who said, 'What does he know about administration? He's never done it'. Well, Key has done all right with the decisions he has made so far.
There were questions about whether Stokes would succeed as captain and comparisons made with other great all-rounders such as Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff, who perhaps didn't make the greatest leaders. Well, he's not Botham or Flintoff, he's Ben Stokes and he is proving himself to be a brilliant leader of his national team," Hussain wrote in his column for Daily Mail.
"Equally, there were those who questioned how Key could appoint a coach in McCullum who had never been in charge of a red-ball side. Well, McCullum played 101 Tests, once made a 13-hour triple century and revolutionised New Zealand's Test cricket when he was captain. Clearly, these were very good appointments, but I don't think any of us could have known quite how good it would be this summer and how rapid England's improvement would be," he wrote.
Under Stokes, England beat New Zealand 3-0 and chased down 378 - their highest-ever in Test cricket - to beat India by 7 wickets at Edgbaston in Birmingham to level the five-match series 2-2.
"Stokes doesn't give a damn what anybody else says. He is doing it his way, to the extent of having Stuart Broad padded up as nightwatchman. When did you last see Broad play a defensive shot?" he added.