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Thread: Strauss vs. Ponting

  1. #1
    Cricket Spectator Blog it for six's Avatar
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    Strauss vs. Ponting

    Ahead of the Ashes, Iíd like to open a discussion on the relative merits of the two opposing Captains. Australian teams enjoy nothing more than letting it be known that they want to target the captain of the opposition. I wrote two articles for the website of magazine publication, All Out Cricket, using Hawkeye to analyse the batting of both Andrew Strauss and Ricky Ponting.

    Here is Pontingís that went up yesterday:
    Captains: An Easy Target? (Part two)

    ... and here is the one for Strauss from earlier in the week:
    Ashes Analysis, Captains. England vs Australia. The Ashes 2010

    What are your thoughts on the points raised and who, and why, do you think will win the battle of the captains?

    Cheers.
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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    First, I'll point out how good that guy's blog is.

    As for the captains, I think Ponting is more than likely to show us what he's capable of. England can tempt him with the hook all they like, the fact is Punter is more than likely to get it right the vast majority of the time. I wouldn't underestimate him.
    Every 5 years we have an election and have to decide who are the least obnoxious out of all the men. Then one gets in and they age really quickly. Which is always fun to watch.

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    International Vice-Captain Faisal1985's Avatar
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    Very nice read and good analysis....but why no spin analysis against the captains....? Also i noticed how you didn't put much effort into Punter's strengths and his scoring areas like you did for Strauss.
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    Cricket Spectator Blog it for six's Avatar
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    Howe_zat, thanks for such a glowing right up!! I really appreciate it.

    Personally, I love Pontingís hook shot. As I wrote in the article, the way he positions himself and the balance he has, makes it a delight to watch. I wouldnít mind a couple of those going for four for the highlights reel before he gets out, without too much damage caused. Heís a quality batter and I think he has plenty left in the tank yet to answer his critics.

    Faisal, yeah I think my English bias has shone through a touch there. I expect Ponting to be a dominant force in this series. Heís shown before how his mental strength and determination leads him to excel. If you want to see spinners vs batsmen, I wrote a Hawkeye analysis on Swann vs Clarke a couple of weeks ago. If you go to Blog it for six, scroll to the bottom of the page and then select page 2, you will be able to read it. Hope you enjoy it!


  5. #5
    International Vice-Captain Faisal1985's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blog it for six View Post
    Faisal, yeah I think my English bias has shone through a touch there. I expect Ponting to be a dominant force in this series. Heís shown before how his mental strength and determination leads him to excel. If you want to see spinners vs batsmen, I wrote a Hawkeye analysis on Swann vs Clarke a couple of weeks ago. If you go to Blog it for six, scroll to the bottom of the page and then select page 2, you will be able to read it. Hope you enjoy it!
    Certainly.

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    Hall of Fame Member Howe_zat's Avatar
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    You misleading devil you.

  8. #8
    Cricket Spectator Blog it for six's Avatar
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    Haha! A few bad scores from Ponting and the Aussie's may be calling 0844 576 8481 for reassurance...
    Last edited by Blog it for six; 12-11-2010 at 02:16 PM.

  9. #9
    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Two good articles mate which I enjoyed, and a very decent blog too. Would love to put some Hawkeye analysis into some of my articles, but lack the necessary technical expertise, so may need to tap you up for a bit of advice if that's alright (I ain't very good when it comes to stuff like this).

    On the two captains, I think they'll both prosper this series, but back Strauss to have the edge.

    As you correctly point out in your Strauss piece, he has had a struggle recently when facing left arm pacemen, but there's not much chance of Johnson getting anything to shape away from him. The length is prettty key for me too, if you're slightly short Strauss will have a field day, they need to be looking at bringing him forward in an attempt to target the old frailties on the drive outside off stump. It is an area Strauss has improved in, his judgement outside off has returned, and he is generally driving with more assurance, but it's worth a try.

    Maybe there is a lack of positives in the Ponting article, but rather than you being biased, I do think it's an indication that people are talking about his problems, rather than the propblems he poses to the England side, and the opposite is true of Strauss. You've just reflected public perceptions.

    I do hope England don't get carried away with the short ball to Ponting. The Hawkeye was interesting in relation to the line of the deliveries. You would expect them to go above shoulder height but I'd expect them to make Ponting have to drag the ball from outside the off stump, rather than the angle it into him, when in theory that should be easier for him to control the pull/hook shot.

    The examples you use are from ODI's, do you think he may have been more patient in Test match cricket and not looked for the boundaries on these deliveries, or even let them go through to the keeper (unlikely I know) ?

  10. #10
    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    Neither captain is great out on the field and both like to lead from the front by getting runs on the board.Ponting didn't have to think much in the days of the great side as he could just throw the ball to Warne and McGrath and they would win games on their own,he doesn't have that luxury now and has made some mistakes over the years (Cardiff,India with the spinners on for over rate and then last month too) the key is has he learnt from them?

    As for Strauss,he is technically naive.Nowhere near as good a captain as Vaughan but he seems to have the backing of the full team and they are getting results by playing as a unit which is down partly to his man management which is good.Strauss has been lucky in the fact England haven't lost many games due to their durability or his lack of nous as a skipper would be being called into question.

    I think over the series both sets of fans will be bemused at times by fields set by both captains.Could be fun at times laughing at their mistakes.

  11. #11
    Global Moderator Spark's Avatar
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    Good articles. Agree that Strauss does have the game to really punish our bowlers if they err in length especially. Bollinger I feel will trouble him more than Johnson simply because Johnson for some reason is rank fail against left-handers.

    Also sharp work in noting that it's the hook that gets Ponting in trouble more often than the pull. I also note that it's shot selection that's been getting the better of him as well. More than a few of his pull-shot dismissals have been off balls that are well outside off stump and need to be timed to absolute perfection if they're going to get runs. Instead, the most likely thing occurs and it just loops up in the air for an easy catch. Possibly a manifestation of a more concerning aspect than him not getting pullshots right in general, that he is losing concentration more easily nowadays.

    I read the Clarke article as well. A few points - Clarke loves the cut against the spinners, but when he does so it's generally through cover or cover point (unless it's wide dross). I think this is to minimize the risk of an edge from trying to be too fancy and play late. Also note that in this match he plays a lot straighter. Especially against Swann. I imagine he'll do the same here.
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    Thanks Woodster and Spark, I appreciate your kind words!

    Just been watching the 06/07 Ashes DVD. Itís been tough watching as an Englishman but good to build up a bit more excitement in anticipation for 25 Nov. Itís so clear how often back then that the Aussieís targeted Strauss with the shot ball to catch him out on the leg side after playing the pull shot. His problem in the Aus conditions, was getting underneath the bounce rather than trying to control the shot by getting on top of it. I think heís learnt the lessons from that and I really think he will be up there as one of the top run scorers this series. I really donít want to put too much emphasis on the warm up games, but he really couldnít have started them much better than he has done.

    I agree with Spark, that it will be Bollinger who will probably trouble Strauss more than Johnson as he is more likely to get that shape away from Strauss, which can bring about his downfall.

    Ponting may be more patient on his shot selection regarding the short ball in tests, but I just canít see him ducking too many. He is such a compulsive hooker and at age 35, I think he is too far into his career to start changing such a large attribute of his game. I think England will target it regardless though and I agree with Woodster, in that I too hope it doesnít become overused. This will surely result in long days in the field for England as Punterís eye gets more and more accustomed to the short stuff.

    Flibbertyjibber: excellent point that I had overlooked re captaincy. When a team is winning the captainís tactics (or lack thereof) are washed over and ignored. However, when the team fails, he is the first to be interrogated and get the blame. Which is exactly what we are seeing with Ponting now, as you rightly pointed out.



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