London: Former England skipper Paul Collingwood has insisted that if the Alastair Cook-led side wants to save the ongoing Test series against India, they should let loose all-rounder Ben Stokes.
England, which is currently trailing the five-match series 0-2, will next lock horns with the Virat Kohli-led side at the Wankhede Stadium from December 8, with an almost impossible task of staging a comeback.
A fear over the workload of all-rounder Stokes has crept in the mind of the England team management, who has been a key member of the side with bat and ball in all three formats of the game.
However, Collingwood believes there’s no point in trying to protect the 24-year-old all-rounder, adding that the team should ask even more of him.
“There’s no point in trying to captain Ben Stokes,” Collingwood was quoted as saying by the Mirror.co.uk. “I can sit here and pretend he’d listen to us but why bother. That’s the beauty of him – he wants to be in the important points of the game and wants to play a big part in winning the game.”
“He’s almost impossible to captain when you’re out in the middle. You can try and give him the bigger picture and all that kind of stuff but he wants to be part of everything and he’ll continue to be like that,” he added.
The 40-year-old believes Stokes should move up the batting order to No.4.
“Some world class all-rounders have done that – Jacques Kallis for one comes to mind,” he said. “He probably is the best all-round cricketer that’s played the game and he was right up there at the top of the order so it’s something Ben would be desperate to do.”
The former England hero also asserted Stokes, whose workload is higher than probably anyone else in English cricket playing three forms of the game, would hopefully look after his body to be able to cope with it. “He’s a really strong, fit young lad.