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Sight Screen

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Tug hard at the mask..

No, this surely cannot be an Aussie captain. Ponting says "I would hate to think if we lost this series it is only my fault," and also "I have never taken all the accolades when the team has gone well. It would be unfair if it was my fault we lost.. Sure we all understand that its not entirely in the hands of the captain, but there are some levels of responsibility. That's why the term 'captain'?

Anyway, that's not the point. This is not how captain of Australia, the best and most dominant team in the world, should react after being out-played in...what..three games, is that all? Its not unbecoming to accept the inferiority that they have shown in their game, when compared to Eng. But going to the level of finding who, where and how to blame. Hmm...the disease seems to run deep now.

But I do agree, when he says If we happen to win this last Test match then I am sure a lot of the stuff we are talking about here right now will be forgotten.. It should not be forgotten, but it will be.


  • So what sort of responsibilities does Ponting has as a captain?

    A captain should be able to rally his troops when the chips are down, but in the end its up to the individual player who play to his potential. A captain shouldnt be responsible for the loss - every member of the team who didn't perform should be.

    This is the thing with Indian cricket. When our team loses, the media is quickly to blame Ganguly for the loss, when in fact our players aren't mentally ready to take on the extra responsibility to up their game during the finals. The desire might be there, but the execution is not there. There are days in the final where the batting clicks to an extent, but then the bowler makes a mockery of things.

    A captain is only as good as his players and simply, our players aren't good ENough. Changing the captain isn't going to make any difference to the team.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 05:48  

  • Is Ponting likely to lose his captaincy over a series loss? Will they axe some of their other stalwarts like Hayden and Gillespie? If they do, then the last Ashes test is deadly serious.

    Ponting can’t say he read England very well. He made the mistake of fielding first in the second test. His main bowlers, here Warne and Lee took 15/ 20 wickets, did as much as McGrath and Warne had done in the first test. They nearly rescued Australia again with the bat as well! But just look at the viciousness of the English batting assault in their first innings. Then, there is the documented lament about the English bowlers’ ability to reverse swing. Then, there was England’s cunning use of specialist fielders to rest their bowlers and affect the match on the field.

    Aussies and Ponting have been out-played and out-thought, in all areas of the game. On this occasion even the umpires have sided with England.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 05:57  

  • jgohil..I agree with you, as I also wrote there, that the while game is not in the hands of captain. And while internally the blame has to be equally shared, and also analysed as to who or what at which point was wrong etc. But to the external world the captain is the sole person responsible, as is the Prime Minister for the govt (why do you think a railway minister quits when a major accident occurs ?). And anyway, the point of that article was not that Ponting is right or wrong. Why is he speaking this way ? And now, at THIS juncture..when he has to face probably the most important match in his captaincy period ?

    issaicn, I don't think POnting will loose his captaincy, even if they loose 3-1. But note, this is the point when the Aussie selectors would, in their minds and their backrooms, seriously start thinking about the captaincy question. Ponting would be on watch now. He has already got them started on the lookout. And even if they square the series, the irreversible process has started.

    And ofcourse he made mistakes, all captains do. Good ones make less (and less often) and bad ones more often, and more common mistakes. He (and Vaughan) are both not good captains. Vaughan just chances to have a better team right now. Lets judge him when he is in a similar troubled times.

    But agreed that they(Eng management) has been more innovative, and creative in their approach. IMO, that also comes with confidence of riding on the high of good performance...its a 'phase' thing...not permanent.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:08  

  • Worma - Ian Chappell taking a dig at Buchanan http://www.theage.com.au/news/Sport/Chappell-blasts-Aussie-cricket-coach/2005/09/07/1125772578581.html

    The external world has to view cricket as a team sport and not blame the captain for the losses and even if he’s replaced, its not that there will be any difference to the team. The team will continue to lose important games and our players are going to choke. So then what’s the next solution – oh yeah, lets fire the next captain and bring in a new & young captain like Sehwag for example. This will go on till no-one wants to become the captain of India.

    I would think the team needs a permanent bowling coach. Wasim Akram would be just perfect. I read somewhere that during the WC 2003, the bowlers had their own meetings where they discussed the line/length and as far as I know Srinath was leading that effort.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 06:32  

  • Sure jgohil, I totally agree with you...its just a matter of taking responsiblity...then where does the responsibility of the captain lie ? He has more powers then a normal player, he should have more blame in case of defeat (even if with no fault of his). But within the team, I agree....there should be no additional blame to the captain. And this does not mean firing the captain....just goes against his performance....well if the team keeps on loosing...then the captain has to ask for diff players....if he doesnt...then its his decision to stick with them...right ? Thats why Ganguly once said also that he wants more control of the team because he knows that he is held accountable for the results (thats why, you know, Waugh actually asked CA not to let Buchanan interfere in team selection!!!). This is the way with all leadership roles in the society.

    And its not as if POnting is doing everything, that is within his control, right.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:24  

  • haye btw, I dont think Ponting should be fired, or that is the solution to all the problems they are facing. And neither should Ganguly. Yet.

    By Blogger worma, at 07:26  

  • yeha i agree with you there.

    By Blogger jgohil, at 08:17  

  • I tend to disagree oon the captaincy issue. In fact, I think RP has asked for anticipatory bail, something he'll not get if he loses the Ashes. If the same RP had lost to India in their last series, I believe the Aussie selectors hwould have taken it in their stride saying that this is the Final Frontier. After all, no Aussie captain ha won their in the recent past.
    But the Aussies held the Ashes for 16 years, so they would hold someone accountable for giving that away. Maybe, 87 is not their jinxed number. I think it is 16. Remember 16 consecutive test victories ? :)

    The other thing to be thought about CA handling captaincy issues is, they dont have a history of keeping the ex-captain in the team. And RP is in now way, finished as a batsman. This might just save him.

    By Blogger Toney, at 08:51  

  • toney, forget what Ponting is asking for (he is being dumb). Look at what Aus has done (or not been able to do). Lost a 5 match series (3-1 or 2-1)to a better oppponent....partly due to bad tactics, but mainly due to playing badly. Does that suffice them to chuck a 'successful' captain ? And lets face this question without being emotional (because all that talk of "16 years.." or reference to 'ashes' is just emotion, and I dont think CA are too emotional, although public pressure on them may be guided by emotions). Does this merit his chucking ?

    And I agree about the other part, not only would they have to go against this policy of not keeping and ex-captain in the side, but also they dont have much alternatives, do they ? Gilchrist is facing a test as a player, from which he may or may not emerge(doesnt have too much experience as captain, which CA look for). Also I dont think he is being grommed as future captain(they will soon look at another vice captain under ponting, I feel). What else do they have ? Can't go to Warne...that would be blatantly defensive, non-futuristic and short term.

    By Blogger worma, at 09:11  

  • This comment isn't related to the post, but thought I would publish anyway

    Check out http://www.medpagetoday.com/Surgery/Orthopedics/tb/1676

    its a nice article about tennis elbow and how it affects sportspersons. Should give the readers an idea of what Tendulkar is facing,

    PS: the news ain't good :(

    By Blogger Shams, at 12:17  

  • The only reason Ponting won't lose the captaincy even if Australia draw the series is because there isn't anyone to take his place. The only times Australia have been able to dominate in the series is when Warne has been in the thick of the action...in the last test match warne was telling Ponting what to do. Ponting didn't have a slip in place (despite Warne trying his best to convince Punter)when KP was batting and fortunately his edge went to Gilly...had it gone through the slip cordon for a 4...Warne would have imploded with anger.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 13:01  

  • Regarding that attack on Buchanan by Ian Chappell...I wonder what he will say about his brother coaching the Indian team. Is Greg Chappell to be held accountable if India does well or spiral downwards in the next few series. Personally I think its too early to judge what effect Chappell has had...but he will put under the scanner in the Pak tour.

    By Blogger ClannZú, at 13:06  

  • clannzu, agreed about your reason for Ponting being retained, as I also mentioned above. but thats just one reason.

    By Blogger worma, at 13:11  

  • I couldnt believe it, Steve Waugh would never have said something like this. While I think Ponting should and will be retained, clearly they need to start looking for an alternative. I hope other teams learn from the English attitude and get more aggresive, this series has clearly rattled the Aussies (apart from Warne!).

    By Blogger Doc, at 14:40  

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