Michael Atherton has hailed Ben Stokes and said that the all-rounder will go down as one of England’s greatest-ever Test captains after their win in Multan against Pakistan.
The visitors registered a 26-run win over Pakistan on a thrilling Day 4 where Stokes’ leadership once again shined through. This was England’s eighth win in nine Tests under the 31-year-old as he completely turned the fortunes of the team.
“Well, he has transformed England’s Test match team. He has just completely galvanized them with virtually the same players. Think of those players in the Ashes, in the Carribean before he took over. It’s virtually the same team with one or two little changes. They played the same team throughout the summer. Alex Lees gave way here.”
“He has transformed and galvanized the outfit. You know, it’s just the measure of leadership, really. As I said last week, he is going to be a very significant England captain. He’s going to be one of the greatest ever captains by the time he finishes, I think.”
“I can’t remember or think of another captain, certainly for England, and I’m trying to think more worldwide, who has had such a dramatic and immediate impact upon taking over.”
“The combination of Stokes and McCullum. That clear messaging that we have talked about and the creation of an attitude where it’s not a be all and end all. It doesn’t matter if we get beat. We’re gonna give it a go. What’s the McCullum quote? We’re gonna plan for the future and live for the moment and that kind of attitude where they throw themselves into it and give it a damn good go and suddenly, they look a transformed side. It is amazing really for those of us who have seen it through that period how it has changed and that’s down to leadership. Incredible!” said Atherton.