Posts Tagged ‘Strauss’

The Myth About Captaincy

Posted: September 9, 2011 by The CouchExpert in Cricket, Opinion
Tags: , , , , ,

Srikrishnan Chandrasekaran

Kapil Dev, Allan Border and Clive Lloyd led their respective teams to their first world cup titles

The hottest topic that is discussed during any series in the sport of cricket is about captaincy and captains. Captains from both winning and losing team will be called up after the completion of every match to talk about the positive and negative of that day’s match. The Indian media is very famous for the creating hype about the series and also the way they convert small information into an atom bomb which sometimes results in good players being dropped. (One example is the former Indian captain Ganguly). In case the Indian team ends up losing the series, they invite former players from India and other countries to discuss their failures and especially about the captaincy.

Recently the Bangladesh captain and vice captain were sacked from their responsibilities for losing in Zimbabwe. Every country is king on their home soil irrespective of the opposition. Even though Zimbabwe had not played much cricket over the years at international level, they will have played a lot in those conditions domestically. It is really difficult for any team to play against a team which has not appeared in international arena for few years.

Even the first test match between Pakistan and Zimbabwe was very closely contested wherein Zimbabwe players missed several opportunities of catching Pakistani batsmen. Generally it is Pakistan who are renowned for missing opportunities while fielding. It was a nail biting finish to the first ODI as well. Even though Pakistan is better side than Bangladesh with the amount of experienced cricketers in their side, they still found it difficult to win a match against them convincingly so far.

In the recent years, there has been improvement in the Bangladesh cricket team. They should be given some more years of time to stabilize at the top level. At present they don’t have any players who have got good experience in International level to lead the team.

Fans, reporters, former players, editors across the cricket world often talk about the captaincy. There were astute people who were good captains between 1970 and 1990 – like Clive Lloyd, Allan Border, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Mike Gatting.

Clive Lloyd led the West Indies to 2 consecutive World cup wins in 1975 and 1979 and to the final of 1983. The WI team during 1975 through 1983 had got real talent comprising of great fast bowling and excellent batsmen.

Kapil Dev became  the first Indian captain to win the World cup in 1983. He led a team which had a good mix of quality batsmen and bowlers.

Allan Border became first Australian captain to win the World cup in 1987. The team had real class batsmen and good quality bowling.

Starting 1990 there has been only a marginal improvement in terms of captaincy. There are still a lot of talk towards some of these captains being great captains – Mark Taylor, Arjuna Ranatunga, Wasim Akram, Nasser Hussain, Shaun Pollock, Steve Waugh, Richie Richardson, Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Grame Smith, Kumara Sangakkara, MS Dhoni, Andrew Strauss as they have won more no. of matches and tournaments for their respective countries.  Are they really so?

These captains lead a team which had got at least 2 out of 3 bases covered with some of the best cricketers. Qualities like very good batsmen, best all-rounders and great bowlers. There is nothing really great when you leads a team which has such brilliant talents. Even 50% of the players perform, the team ends with a win. None of these leaders really took over the team when it was at the bottom 3 or 4 in the ranking table and finished their career as captain in the top 2 position.

It seems almost mandatory rule a team should have a captain and a vice captain. To project that for every team players have been picked and given the position to lead. None of these captains really led their team to a tournament victory with less skilled players in the team.

Some of these captains holds the skill of utilizing talents existing in their team at the right time of a match / tournament and succeeded with good results. It is part of a job of a captain. There are only few eligible players who can be considered as emerging captains like Shakib Al Hasan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Bredon Taylor. Their teams are currently in the bottom 5 of the ranking tables. Let’s see their performance after 2 years as how they transformed their lead role talent to form their teams to next level.


Chandrasekhar Jayarama Krishnan

Head of Cricket, The CouchExpert

19 August 2011

 

The only sign of aggression from the Indian bowlers on a rain-marred day, which lasted until lunch, was the quick bouncer from Ishant Sharma that took a piece of Strauss’ helmet on its way.

Humbly reluctant as I am to obtrude the lack of venom in the Indian pace attack, as I’ve already done during the most part of this series, signs of amelioration were hardly visible. There was more crowd movement behind the side screen at the start of the day than the movement extracted by the Indian seamers using the new ball.

Trapped in these webs of clueless lines and length was India’s newest addition RP Singh, who hasn’t played a test in a while. Like Praveen, his lack of pace does him no good but unlike the former, he didn’t appear intelligent enough. He had a great series in England back in 2007, and his Harmison-esque start to this test made one wonder whether he’s played any cricket at all during those four years.

India's only sign of aggression was a vicious bouncer from Ishant that damaged Strauss' hemlet

Cook and Strauss continued to grind the runs until the rain gods opened up to play spoilsport on an overcast day, conditions under which the Indian bowlers failed to shine. Barring the bouncer from Ishant, the Englishmen weren’t troubled as they continued to do what they did all series. And James Anderson, who was declared fit prior to the start of the game, will have more time to rest and have a go at the Indians – something that isn’t likely to happen before the 3rd day.

At 75-0, England will continue to pile on the runs, hopefully at a decent rate to annul the lost time on Day One. For India, a colossal change in approach, and performance, is needed.