Cricket Warne: Make Jos skip­per to free up Root

Bristol Post - - SPORT -

SHANE Warne be­lieves Eng­land should se­ri­ously con­sider re­plac­ing Joe Root with Jos But­tler as Test cap­tain – to al­low Root to be­come the world’s best bats­man.

Aus­tralia spin great Warne thinks the York­shire star could dom­i­nate the global game with the bat and feels But­tler would make a “very, very good” Test cap­tain.

Warne worked with But­tler in his role as men­tor for IPL out­fit Ra­jasthan Roy­als, and is con­vinced the Lan­cashire keeper has cred­i­ble Test lead­er­ship skills.

“I’ve worked with Jos a bit this year, and I think he’s some­one who would make an ex­cel­lent cap­tain,” said Warne.

“I re­ally en­joyed his com­pany, and talk­ing the game of cricket with him. He would be a very, very good Eng­land cap­tain.

“I think Joe Root is Eng­land’s best player, but he’ll be dis­ap­pointed with his con­ver­sion rate when it comes to hun­dreds. He’d love to have more hun­dreds, to be able to be spo­ken about in the same sen­tences as Vi­rat Kohli and Steve Smith.”

Added Warne: “Maybe Eng­land could think about their best player hav­ing the shack­les off, not hav­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity of cap­taincy, and give it to some­one like Jos But­tler.

“Jos could play with his free­dom and cap­tain the side, and Joe could just con­cen­trate on his cricket.

“If he to­tally 100 per cent con- cen­trates on his cricket, his bat­ting and noth­ing else, then maybe we might see Joe Root be­come the best bats­man in the world. He’s got the tal­ent to do it.”

Warne, who is busy pro­mot­ing his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy No Spin, be­lieves Aus­tralia have lost the “fear fac­tor” ever since Eng­land won the 2005 Ashes, but he also thinks next sum­mer’s Ashes se­ries in Eng­land could be very del­i­cately bal­anced.

Dis­graced pair Steve Smith and David Warner will be back from their ball-tam­per­ing sus­pen­sions in time for that se­ries and Warne ex­pects both men to re­gain piv­otal roles in Aus­tralia’s set-up.

“They are two of the top five best bats­men in the world. Aus­tralia des­per­ately need them,” he said. “I think Aus­tralia will give Eng­land a real run for their money next year.”

Eng­land’s Jos But­tler

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