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Thread: Captaincy of Strauss and Ponting

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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Captaincy of Strauss and Ponting

    The captaincy of Ponting and Strauss is surely going to have a large bearing on the series, both in terms of their tactical ability and their ability to keep the team mentally on the right track.

    They are very contrasting in styles, Strauss a lot more laid back and Ponting a lot more in your face. Ponting also has miles more experience as captain, although Strauss is an experienced and mature player.

    The contrast in their styles came to mind when I just read the two lead articles on Cricinfo, with Ponting urging his players to become legends, and Strauss describing the test of character ahead for his team.

    I would be interested to hear people's views on how their relative strengths and weaknesses will impact the series.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    IMO, Ponting has trouble defending. His methods of keeping runs down are better suited to ODIs, where he's a much better captain (and his record in ODIs as captain is fantastic). In tests, he gives too many singles away. He often lets batsmen score 3 an over without taking many risks in order to stop them from scoring 4 an over while taking a lot of risks.

    His strength, and that of the Australian set-up in general, is that he always goes into the match with a plan for every batsman. Their preparation is impeccable, which is why they so often dominate the first match of a series (whereas most touring sides initially struggle). The other thing I'd give Ponting is that he seems to be getting the best out of the young players in this team.

    Andrew Strauss is inexperienced, and as such makes a few basic errors- the type that everyone makes once. Having Steve Harmison field at long-on at the death during a one-dayer, for example. Occasionally he tries to do too much when you wish he would just bowl his best bowlers and put fielders where the ball might go.

    On the other hand, his social skills are impeccable IMO. No one is going to fall out with him on the field, and off it he'll always say exactly what needs to be said. From what I've heard he likes to let bowlers set their own fields too, which is always good. The PR side of captaincy he has nailed.

    Those are just a few thoughts. Personally I think they're both mediocre captains and the best test captain in international cricket at the moment is MS Dhoni. There's a reason that so little time has been devoted to comparing the captains of the two sides- because neither is going to win their side the series nor lose their side the series. They'll do the job reasonably and the batting, bowling and fielding will determine the outcome.
    Quote Originally Posted by zaremba View Post
    The Filth have comfortably the better bowling. But the Gash have the batting. Might be quite good to watch.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Yeah, personally I hope we can talk about the players rather than clear captaincy errors in the series TBH.
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    Cricketer Of The Year four_or_six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Yeah, personally I hope we can talk about the players rather than clear captaincy errors in the series TBH.
    I didn't just mean captaincy errors. An inspired piece of captaincy is just as interesting.

    Also, I think captaincy could have an impact on the series. It certainly has in series past, and that's not just because of mistakes. For example, in 2006/07 I feel Ponting was an inspirational leader in terms of getting revenge for 2005. And in 2005 I feel Vaughan's man-management was instrumental in allowing players such as Fred and KP to come out and play their natural games without fear.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Yeah, but such stuff is discreet, behind-the-scenes and thus only ever able to be speculated upon, never be certain of.

    Either way I do certainly enjoy an inspired piece of captaincy but I hate to see things which are in reality just the cookie crumbling that way being hailed as inspirational captaincy.

    I don't think either Strauss or Ponting are likely to produce inspired moments, because they're just not really that type of captain. Ponting is most likely to come into matters as a result of blowing his top over yet another non-issue; Strauss for doing not-much while a game drifts, where he could have made a decision that would probably have resulted in said drift instead being a landslide against his team but might conceivably have turned the tide.

    Or something along those lines.

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    So far, Ponting has been spot on, Strauss...nah.

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    International Regular stephen's Avatar
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    Strauss basically looked like he had no ideas once batsmen got set.

    However, I don't think he did too much wrong out there. His bowlers really let him down. That HAS to hurt when you're a captain trying to defend a big total.

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Reckon England has appeared really flat and not fired up for this match. When you can't get fired up to bowl a team up in the first test of an Ashes series, when you've scored 400+ in your innings, been whitewashed in the last series but won the last time you played at home - there's something very wrong. England's attitude with bat and especially ball has stunk and Strauss has to take responsibility for that.

    That said, he's not really had long enough to make it truly 'his' team. Pietersen and Freddie have both failed as captain yet remain in the team. The fallout from the Pietersen-Moore-Flintoff debacle us probably still present to a degree.

    That said, in this situation Strauss needs to be prepared to take some hard stances - if Broad and Anderson are doing the wrong thing he needs to tell them to get their **** together. He has to be strong enough to keep his superstars in KP and Flintoff focused on the team. You can be the leader or you can be everyone's best mate - often you can't be both.

    I reckon this is an area that Ponting has improved massively in, and which he's never gets enough credit. He's got this young team working for each other and doing the team things. He's dealt with some hard issues like Symonds, and is probably in a way enjoying not having Warne undermining him and the coach - although no doubt he'd live with that issue if it mean he had Warnie the bowler.
    Last edited by Matt79; 11-07-2009 at 07:37 PM.
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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    Roebuck gave Ponting a spray after the first day, which I thought was quite uncalled for. Reckon how he used Hauritz against Pietersen was smart, and aside from a little period where the bowlers let him down to Flintoff and Prior.

    Thought that Strauss wasn't the worst, but could have tried to eke a few more shots against the spinners. Monty still bowls a far too quick, lure them down the wicket. I'd be backing Flintoff every time he bowls too, and not leaving a bloke out on the point boundary. It makes it too easy to get off strike against him. Can understand it with Broad and Anderson.

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    Quote Originally Posted by four_or_six View Post
    I didn't just mean captaincy errors. An inspired piece of captaincy is just as interesting.

    Also, I think captaincy could have an impact on the series. It certainly has in series past, and that's not just because of mistakes. For example, in 2006/07 I feel Ponting was an inspirational leader in terms of getting revenge for 2005. And in 2005 I feel Vaughan's man-management was instrumental in allowing players such as Fred and KP to come out and play their natural games without fear.
    I agree totally. You are spot on! The skill in captaincy is a combination of strong judgement, providing inspiration, being astute and commanding the respect of not only your players but the public and nation of fans that support the team. Although 'mistakes' come into the equation, it is often the astute captain who understands the strengths and weaknesses of his team and the opposition that goes a long way to succeeding at the end of the day.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    None of it matters a jot if you don't have the bowlers. Look at what looks like the difference between Ponting in India and at home v SA, compared with him in SA.

    No real surprise - in SA his bowlers were taking wickets. Kind of helps.
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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Selectors have also given him a hand here by not lumbering him with Cam White as his sole 'specialist' spinner, and giving him two openers that still have something to give.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79 View Post
    Reckon England has appeared really flat and not fired up for this match. When you can't get fired up to bowl a team up in the first test of an Ashes series, when you've scored 400+ in your innings, been whitewashed in the last series but won the last time you played at home - there's something very wrong. England's attitude with bat and especially ball has stunk and Strauss has to take responsibility for that.
    Disagree with this completely and don't see where on Earth it's come from. There is no way under any circumstances that any England team is ever not going to be up for any Ashes Test, never mind the opening one of a home series.

    Sometimes, being not good enough can come accross as indifference, and this is one such occasion methinks.
    That said, in this situation Strauss needs to be prepared to take some hard stances - if Broad and Anderson are doing the wrong thing he needs to tell them to get their **** together.
    Agree with this mind. Nasser Hussain first called Strauss as being maybe too "well I guess you're probably doing your best" when he looked on with a shrug as the ODI bowlers were repeatedly smashed by the Lankans in 2006. That happened because the bowlers were all absolutely shocking, no amount of captaincy would have changed that, but the point stands. I don't think he can make Broad into a better bowler than he is, because as things stand he simply does not have the requisite ability and no rollicking from the captain can change this. But you have to wonder whether England - the bowlers who we know can do better, Flintoff and Anderson - might have bowled a bit better under a hard-task-master Gooch or Hussain than they did under Strauss. They may not have, but as I say, you do have to wonder.
    He has to be strong enough to keep his superstars in KP and Flintoff focused on the team.
    No evidence either are anything but.
    Last edited by Richard; 12-07-2009 at 05:34 AM.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    Roebuck gave Ponting a spray after the first day, which I thought was quite uncalled for.
    And was then on at tea on day four singing all sorts of his praises. He truly is a master of changing his position in a millisecond, and seemingly more with Ponting's captaincy than almost any other subject.

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    I haven't been listening to TMS today - there's no excuse for subjecting my kids to the x rated goings on at Cardiff - but I wonder if the CMJ & Blofeld are still convinced that the last ashes would have been anything other than 5.0 with Strauss in charge instead of Flintoff.

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