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Opinion

Warne: Make Buttler Test skipper, free up Root to become world’s No.1 batsman

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

Shane Warne believes England should axe Joe Root as Test captain and give leadership responsibilities to Jos Buttler.

The former Australia spinner believes the move would release the shackles on the Yorkshireman and aid his bid to become the world’s premier Test batsman.

Such a scenario would represent a huge turnaround in fortunes for Buttler, who returned to the Test side earlier this year after an 18-month exile when England’s new chief selector Ed Smith showed faith.

England’s Joe Root and Jos Buttler wear Alastair Cook t-shirts after the 5th Test versus India

Warne has worked with Buttler as a mentor for IPL side Rajasthan Royals, and believes Lancashire’s wicketkeeper-batsman would make a “very, very good” Test captain.

“I’ve worked with Jos a bit this year, and I think he’s someone who would make an excellent captain,” the spin legend said at a book signing. “I really enjoyed working with him, I’d like to think I helped him out a little bit. I really enjoyed his company and talking the game of cricket. 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.

“I like Joe Root, he has a good manner about himself. He’s a gentleman. 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.

Could replacing Root with Buttler as captain free up the former to become the world’s best batsman?

“Jos could play with his freedom and captain the side, and Joe could just concentrate on his cricket. If he totally 100 per cent concentrates 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.”

Shane Warne was promoting his new autobiography ‘No Spin’.

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