Ben Stokes has 'never had an ambition to be a captain' as he denies reports of replacing Joe Root

With Joe Root facing criticism as England captain, Ben Stokes has rallied behind his team-mate and denied talks of replacing him.

After England's humiliating Ashes series, criticism has began to pour in on Joe Root as the team captain.

But even with Root facing pressure, Ben Stokes has rallied behind his captain, and stated he has no aspirations to replace the record-breaking batsman.

Root will lead the side out in Sydney on Wednesday, and in doing so will become the longest-serving Test skipper in the country's history, overtaking predecessor Sir Alastair Cook's previous record of 59 matches.

However, it'll be a bittersweet achievement for Root, who has just led his third unsuccessful Ashes campaign.

His first came in a 4-0 defeat in 2017/18, before a 2-2 draw at home in 2019. He now faces the possibility of a whitewash Down Under.

After four and a half years in the job, it would hardly be classed as a radical move if either Root or his employers decided it was time for a change.

He's possessed the captaincy for four and a half years, and after the latest Ashes series, questions have started to be asked over his future in the role.

Neither Root nor the England coaching staff have given any indication that they are about to pull the trigger on such a move, and now vice-captain Stokes - viewed as the obvious replacement - has distanced himself from the rumours.

Stokes has led the Test team once before, against the West Indies while Root was attending the birth of his second child, but when discussing the possibility of taking it full-time, he was quick to dismiss it.

"I've never really had an ambition to be a captain," he said, addressing the speculation.

"Captaincy is more than about setting fields, picking the team, making decisions out there in the middle. A captain is someone you want to go out and play for. Joe Root is someone I always want to play for.

"It's totally Joe's decision. He shouldn't be forced into doing it. I'm sure Cooky felt the same way. He did it for so long and when he knew his time was up, his time was up. Those discussions haven't entered anywhere near Joe yet.

"I don't sense that at all with Joe. He's brought this team a long way. He's done some great things. Obviously this series hasn't gone too well, not from a captaincy point of view, but from a team and results point of view."

Stokes also took a moment to offer support for head coach Chris Silverwood's position. He's also under immense scrutiny following the series, but Stokes wanted to disregard the narrative that he could leave his role.

"Unfortunately, the captain and coach bear the scrutiny for (results), but there are 10 other guys out there in the field," he said.

"That's (the media's) job, to say, 'Should people step down?'. At the end of the day, the most important people's opinions are those guys in the dressing room and they've got our thorough support.

"Chris Silverwood, exactly the same. He's a real players' coach. He stands up for you as individuals and players as well. All the hype in the media recently about their futures, it's your job to write that, but they know full well they have the support of everyone in there and that's all that matters."

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