Mavericks don’t often get the big jobs – Ben Stokes has shown everyone the value of doing things differently
According to lore some of the very best Test captains are the ones who never got the job. Like Keith Miller – an admired, and audacious, skipper at New South Wales – who never led Australia because he was always on the wrong side of the selectors and in particular Don Bradman, who disliked the way Miller went about his cricket. Or Shane Warne, who won 10 games out of 11 as captain of Australia’s one-day team, but lost out to Steve Waugh on the Test job, a decision, it has to be said, which probably spared the selectors from having to sack him when his next scandal came around a few months later.
The English equivalent would be Percy Fender who was, they say, a brilliant leader of a mediocre Surrey team in the 1920s. Fender played 13 Tests but never led in any of them. His protege, Douglas Jardine, did and they are supposed to have concocted Bodyline between them.