Former England captain Eoin Morgan backs Ben Stokes to succeed Joe Root as Test captain

Following Joe Root's decision to step down as England Test captain, former skipper Eoin Morgan has backed vice-captain Ben Stokes to take the role.

Having won just one of the last 17 Test matches as England captain, Joe Root decided last week to step down from the role, meaning England need a new man in charge.

Deciding who will replace Root will be the job of Rob Key, who recently became England's new director of cricket after Graham Thorpe resigned following the Ashes defeat.

With Root having captained the side for the past five years, it'll be a huge transition for the England setup, and already numerous candidates have been put forward.

However, leading the way at the moment is current vice-captain Ben Stokes. The 30-year-old has now built up plenty of experience and has nailed down a spot in the squad.

Stokes also mentioned the captaincy in his Daily Mirror column last week, stating that it would be a "huge honour" to become captain.

Other than him, James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been mentioned as candidates, but with the pairing missing out on the recent tour of West Indies, it's hard to justify their selection.

With Key set to make the decision in the coming weeks, former England skipper Eoin Morgan has backed Stokes to step up to the plate.

"Obviously Ben is a fantastic player, a brilliant leader, though he doesn't need to have the captain's armband on to lead like he does," said Morgan.

"He'd certainly be a candidate. I think it would be hard to turn down the captaincy. It's a privileged position to be in. Obviously circumstances have to be right, but most people who want to take red-ball cricket forward would like to take it on."

To many people's surprise, Morgan himself has been discussed in the captaincy conversation, despite the 35-year-old having not played five-day cricket for 10 years.

Eoin Morgan, England

But when asked about his chances of becoming captain, Morgan put and end to the rumours, instead suggesting he was solely focused on the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia.

"Absolutely not, no. I'm very happy with the role that I play within the white-ball team and English cricket at the moment. It has been the part of my career that I'm most proud of.

"My career is firmly focused on World Cups, and hopefully sustaining what we've built over the last six years is probably going to be the most important part of what I leave behind eventually.

"I haven't played red-ball cricket for a long time. I wouldn't have any interest in the job. I would be no good at it."

READ MORE: Five things Rob Key needs to address, including new head coach and captaincy decision

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