In Brief

Warne: take ‘shackles’ off Root and make Buttler the England Test captain

Australian spin legend says Root can become the ‘world’s best’ batsman

Shane Warne believes that if Joe Root wants to be regarded as one of the world’s best batsmen he should be relieved of the England cricket Test captaincy.

England play Australia in the Ashes next summer and pressure will be on star player and current skipper Root to perform on home soil.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Australian spin-bowl legend Warne backed Jos Buttler to become Test captain and this would allow Root to concentrate on his batting.

Warne said: “A lot of people speak of him [Root] in the same breath as Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, but I think it’s 14 hundreds [he has scored].

“To be one of the very best of the modern era he needs more. Maybe it is something England could think about. ‘Our best player needs the shackles off, not have the responsibility of captaincy and we’ll give it to someone like Jos Buttler’.

“Worry about his batting. Nothing else, and then maybe we might see Joe Root become the best in the world. He has got the talent. It is something the England selectors should think of.”

Sky Sports reports that Warne worked with Buttler this year while he was a mentor for the Indian Premier League side Rajasthan Royals. He says Buttler would make an “excellent” Test skipper.

“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 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 with him. He would be a very, very good England captain.”

England host Australia next summer in the 2019 Ashes series

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