Sunday, 9 November 2008

Ponting OUT (played)

Remember the good old days when a captain was held accountable?
It is a well known fact that in cricket- unlike most other team sports- the captain is so much more in control than the coach; who is really not much more than an extra set of eyes for the captain at training.

Well, with the first of foreseeable many trophies on the way out of the cabinet, it must be time to ask all the big questions. I have had a snipe at CA (with more to come) about Australia basically imploding, the next obvious point of call HAS to be Ricky Ponting himself.

Throughout this series, Ponting has failed to show any: arrogance, aggression and even obnoxiousness- for that matter, no one seems to have (at least in the media) shown any of these traits! And falling back on that old chestnut of solid sledging just isn't enough when you are being out classed. It feels as if after every day of the series there has been a suitably annoying (to me as an Aussie, anyway) media conference given by the main Indian protagonist. Katich's outburst falls into anger, not aggression category. And it seams Ponting can't turn it around either, he went over there on the back foot and has been unable to find any front foot attacking options since. maybe it is a lack of faith in his team that has him being so defensive (what's the old adage? "a good craftsman doesn't blame his tools."), or maybe he just knows that this Indian side is better than his! Either way, if you look beaten from day one, you are!

Still, the lack of aggression shows at every level: obviously- as stated- in the media, but also in the field settings and the use of the bowling, and particularly in the batting- talk about taking the bait on day 3 at Nagpur! Dry up the runs, bye, bye trophy.
It is a credit to Katich and Hussey that they gave us a competitive total, but surely the attitude must be, "we are not here to be 'competitive', we are here to win and retain the Border-Gavaskar." Apart from Whites knock, it is a worry when the next best score is the EXTRAS (equal with Haddin). What was the directive to the batsmen, play for a draw?
And while he hasn't been too shabby with the bat this tour of India, i hope Ponting didn't laugh too much when Warne tormented Daryl Cullinan, because when Ponting comes out to bat next innings, it would be totally justified if Harbi walked straight up and gave him a carrot.

For mine, Ponting is on his last legs; I've always enjoyed him as a batsman, but the 2005 ashes captaincy showed his underlying lack of aggression when directing his team. The following ashes in Australia is rightly a moment to be proud of as captain- but how much was Ponting controlling the procedure? Given the amount of overs bowled by Warne (the person who quite rightly should have been captain!), at best Ponting could say he shared the accolade of the 5 nil whitewash leadership.

What he does today, when Australia have absolutely nothing to lose and a trophy to hold onto will determine his worth as skipper in many peoples eyes. I don't think anyone would be critical if Ricky constantly changed the bowlers, their ends and field placements to try and unsettle the batsman; of course given Australia's abysmal over rates, it would only be appreciated if he showed that the fielding placements were pre-planned and quickly implemented; the players should be bolting into the new positions every time a change is called to really show that there is a plan behind the look of chaos. if you can't beat 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with...
Just do something Ricky!

*new ricky ponting poll below*


  1. The strange thing is that Ponting has one of the best win/loss/draw records from ALL of the Aussie captains. He was lucky he had very good tacticians behind him all these years (Ned Flanders, Warnie, McGrath, Gilly).
    Ok then, who is next, Pup? Mr.Cricket? Brett Lee? the rest are trying to establish themsleves in the test team. I am afraid it's 1985 all over again.

  2. yes he does, and everyone desires to knock off the king, but as stated he did receive a good inheritance, not just in tacticians, but superior cricket brains (with the ability to support the tactics).

    how about unravel the team and pick a captain from...

    most likely Hussey, but agree with the 1985 thing.

  3. My god how we over react!

    Girls girls, take a breath relax and have a good hard think about the situation.

    Many a team has been made to look silly on the Sub-Continent. Australian test teams have won a series over there ONCE since the 60's and it was arguably one of the best teams to play anywhere, thats what it takes; brilliance, assuredness, talent, flair, aggression etc.
    It's high time everyone realised that with a generational shift in the playing group we are bound to lose ground, even (horror of horrors) go backwards while we assemble another competetive team (which I beleive we have anyway).
    Yes we have lost Glen and Shane and Mark, and Adam. CAN WE PLEASE LET THAT GO AND BE A LITTLE MORE REALISTIC in our expectations? If not then prepare to be a little dissapointed in the Aussie team for a while.

    And if we are bagging captains then Steve Waugh enforcing a stupid follow on in the 2nd test at Kolkata in 2000-2001 lost us a series there as well.

    What the Australian team needs now is some stability. We need to look at the program for the next 2 years and have a squad of not more than 15 players.
    The players, knowing that the team will be picked from the 15 will have less pressure on them and the team will be more settled.
    If a player retires then a player is promoted to the squad. Pretty simple shit.
    The other thing that the team need to do is play like they are, sorry, were renowned for.
    Attack, being proactive, being positive. Yes Ponting needs an attitudinal enema, and maybe a little PCP, but he is not the reason that we dropped the B/G trophy.

  4. so you call playing hayden the answer? What about Roy? give him another chance? he might have some demons, but he has to be made accountable. I don't know why katich is playing? He did have a very good domestic season but selectors have said that if your technic is not right you don't play for australia. were is the reverse swing that the new coach was meant to bring in? were is a decent spinner? is the mcg going to give back those 15ml of beer that were taken from punters? WE WANT ANSWERS DAM IT!!!

  5. roy will walk back into the side... the whole "gone fishing-gate" scandal was a smokescreen to let him "off the hook" from the Indian tour. clearly the last 2 times the sides have competed has affected his confidence around them.

    Ponsford, with a squad of 15 we get 1x spare opener, 1x spare middle order batsman, 1x spare bowler (and 1 dogsbody). talk about feeding complacency!
    players should be under constant pressure to retain their spot, and this MUST be seen as a good thing that they all revel in. otherwise find a new profession.

    this is no knee-jerk to Pontings loss of this series;it is a reaction to his belligerence that stems right back to 05 ashes loss and his lack of acceptance that (McGraths injury aside- and the pommy ball tempering thing) HIS captaincy "style" ensured the loss.
    the way he dealt with the recalictrant Indians here last summer is another good example of his poor leadership. after Baji muttered the racial comment and Sachin said to Ponting "i'll deal with this", Ponting should have said, "You've got 3 minutes to make that prick set this right or we'll rip him a new one, right here. PERIOD!" insted, it fizzled away into CA just short of begging India not to walk out on the tour.
    Ricky picks his targets for who to be tuff with, against any resistance, he is spineless.

    Captain cranky needs to giv leadership lessons.

    the mcg owes me gallons, Gab909