What. A. Ball.
Here are five candidates to take over from Eoin Morgan as the captain of England’s short-form side.
1. Jos Butler (vc) (wk)
Jos Butler was appointed Morgan’s deputy a couple of years ago. Having already stepped in for Morgan six times, wining four of them, he is in the leadership group both for England and at more local levels.
He is in the next in line of succession. At 30, he is likely to last longer than Morgan and might take over the reigns once Morgan retires (possibly in 2023).
2. Ben Stokes
The Achilles of the 2019 Summer, Ben Stokes is already the vice captain of the Test team. He led them once and is heavily involved in the leadership group. However, like Achilles he does have a heel – his prior arrest.
Sportsmen like Stokes and Steven Smith are seen as role models taking on a permanent leadership role. However, if they make one mistake all that talent and heroics might cost them the captaincy.
Like Butler, Stokes is around 29 and will likely be around as long as Butler so if Butler did become captain, it is unlikely Stokes would sucked him.
3. Joe Root
Part of the Fab four (others being Kane Williamson, Virat Kohli and Steven Smith), Joe Root is already at the helm of red ball cricket.
However, in the 2010’s the English team has evolved to have separate captains in different formats. Root while no doubt is talented and a critical element in the ODI team, is not a guarantee in T20Is.
Unlike the other members of the Fab Four, he is never been picked in the IPL. This makes his nomination as the limited overs captain tricky, but no one has seen the future.
4. Jofra Archer
Archer can be seen as a potential talent nurtured to a more leadership role.
Archer primarily leads the bowling attack in all the three formats, but has shown his raw power with the bat for Rajasthan Royals a few times in IPL 2019 and can be nurtured into a Sunil Narine-like figure. Whilst bowlers are not particularly seen as potential captains, England has been more receptive to that (Stuart Broad lead the team in the past, as did Andy Flintoff even though he was more of a bowling allrounder).
More teams in general are opening to the idea (Kumble led India’s Test team, Southee is the Vice Captain for New Zealand and Cummins is one of Australia’s Vice Captains). Also, with age on his side he might also be seen as a long-term option potentially for 2027 and 2031 World Cups.
5. Tom Banton
Banton made his name in the T20I’s team against Australia in the Aug/Sep 2020 series in the jam-packed English team full of quality competitors (Curran Brothers, Billings, Ben Foakes etc).
The wicketkeeping youngster has already been picked by KKR in the IPL and is likely to be seen as a potent force going forward.
This shows his potential as a quality player and might be seen as one of the contenders to succeed Morgan (or Morgan’s immediate successor).