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Thread: Captaincy

  1. #1
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    Captaincy

    A couple of hours ago, I was appointed captain of my club's second team for next season. We play in D Division East IIs of the Devon Cricket League.

    I am the only player in the side between 20 and 30. We will likely be fielding a lot of enthusiastic younger players and a few oldies. Last year we finished 3rd from bottom by 1 point, and barring a good season three years ago have always been in danger of relegation. I myself am supposedly one of the better batsmen but have yet to translate friendly form into consistent league runs- check the My English Domestic Season thread for evidence of this stretching back three years. My goal for the season is to avoid relegation, pure and simple.

    Does anyone have any pointers on captaincy? I have no experience of the job before although I have a good level of cricketing knowledge and I'd appreciate anything anyone can offer.
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  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    My 2 tips for captaincy are:

    If there is dirty work needed to be done then do it yourself and dont shirk the responsibility. eg if the bowlers are getting smashed then bring yourself on. eg if quick runs are needed then be willing to sacrifice your wicket going for them. ie Dont ask others to do what you can do yourself by leading from the front.

    Also, probably at this standard, the captain has to put others before themselves.

    At anything below top level club cricket, IMO the best captains are those that are willing to bat 5, 6 or 7 and bowl 3rd change, have a good cricketing brain but willing to take additional responsibility with the bat or ball when required.
    Last edited by Goughy; 15-02-2009 at 04:06 PM.
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  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Concede all points at Thorverton...

    Nah, in all seriousness, I absolutely love leading a side. I am the sort of person who has a hundred and one excess mental processes skidding around inside my brain during a match, which usually projects itself as shouting, encouraging, sledging, banter, making weird Warnesque noises of disappointment when someone hits the ball a long way or singing Newton Faulkner to myself.

    Many of these are highly inefficient and undesirable uses of my brain, so captaincy is a good thing on a personal level because it stops that from happening. I will go into a match with a gameplan of what I want to do in the field, and then a Plan B. I will talk to my vice-captain and any other trusted players throughout the match and never look to let the opposition settle.

    It's also pretty important for me to stay true to your instinct and convictions during a game. You have your own captaincy style, whether aggressive, defensive, innovative, cautious, orthodox - it's there because it's a makeup of your psychology and you will struggle to plug things together if you do it in a different way.

    I personally am very quick to put boundary sweepers out to cut off an apparent quick source of boundaries: I hate conceding the initiative and I feel that preventing the batting side from dominating is an equally effective was of doing this as packing close fielders in. To me, this is still a postive move - I have no intention of letting the opposition dictate their game plan to me. You will learn quickly what feels right and what works for you.

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  4. #4
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    I captain my school team, and I agree with Neil's post entirely. I have captained my juniors side a few times, but we have a rotation basis so everyone gets a go.

    I love captaincy, it lessens the occasional boredom of standing in the field some days with nothing to do. Rather you have to look after 10 other guys and tell them what to do, an think on your feet. It's great, enjoy it, revel in it, and there is plenty of stuff out there to read about captaincy.


  5. #5
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post

    I personally am very quick to put boundary sweepers out to cut off an apparent quick source of boundaries: I hate conceding the initiative and I feel that preventing the batting side from dominating is an equally effective was of doing this as packing close fielders in. To me, this is still a postive move - I have no intention of letting the opposition dictate their game plan to me. You will learn quickly what feels right and what works for you.
    This was one of the things that annoyed me about my captain at Plymstock (that and moving fielders out of catching positions (like slips) mid-over only to see the next ball go straight there. But then I don't know what your version of 'quick' is. He wanted to put fielders out the ball after I'd accidentally overpitched and been hit for 4, which was really annoying. Especially when the batsmen were useless.
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  6. #6
    Cricket Web Staff Member / Global Moderator Neil Pickup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    This was one of the things that annoyed me about my captain at Plymstock (that and moving fielders out of catching positions (like slips) mid-over only to see the next ball go straight there. But then I don't know what your version of 'quick' is. He wanted to put fielders out the ball after I'd accidentally overpitched and been hit for 4, which was really annoying. Especially when the batsmen were useless.
    Depends on bowler, batsman, match situation... I can't see myself doing that when my overseas quick is bowling and has just got one wrong. More contextually for my level, it is when the batsman is clearly better than what is being served up and a continuation of the status quo will result in run haemorrhaging, so I want to frustrate them into indiscretions.

  7. #7
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    My 2 tips for captaincy are:

    If there is dirty work needed to be done then do it yourself and dont shirk the responsibility. eg if the bowlers are getting smashed then bring yourself on. eg if quick runs are needed then be willing to sacrifice your wicket going for them. ie Dont ask others to do what you can do yourself by leading from the front.

    Also, probably at this standard, the captain has to put others before themselves.

    At anything below top level club cricket, IMO the best captains are those that are willing to bat 5, 6 or 7 and bowl 3rd change, have a good cricketing brain but willing to take additional responsibility with the bat or ball when required.
    I'm not sure I have enough confidence in my bowling to actually bowl myself if the specialist were getting smashed... I am a terrible bowler, a slow, inaccurate offspinner and I would likely increase the run rate. I'd trust one of the older players (I have a specific one in mind here) to take the pace off the ball with more success than me. If I felt I had no choice though, I would do it.

    I agree about batting down the order... one of the senior players is a left-handed opener who doesn't do so well in the middle order and we have a couple of fairly decent young right-handed batsmen who like opening. I prefer to open but I will bat 5-6 in all probability and trust myself to a) salvage the innings if necessary and b) increase the rate in a more comfortable position. I'd fill in any problem positions as well- because availability is an issue at this level.

    And Neil- they aren't cheats mate, you're just bitter . I have a copy of the Art of Captaincy and will be re-reading it. This is the first opportunity I've had to captain a side and I want to enjoy and make the best of it.

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member Woodster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb View Post
    And Neil- they aren't cheats mate, you're just bitter . I have a copy of the Art of Captaincy and will be re-reading it. This is the first opportunity I've had to captain a side and I want to enjoy and make the best of it.
    Good luck Chubbs.
    I have also taken over captaincy for the first time (in senior cricket) for our 1st XI, and will be getting my head stuck into the Art of Captaincy once more!

    I was unsure initially due to all the off-the-field stuff that the role entails, but I'm really lookingforward to it now, and hoping to put my stamp on the side. One thing I will certainly be looking to do is increase intensity at training, too many times it seems people have turned up for a chat rather than to train hard. I'm all for fun along the way but we need to ensure we do the hard work.

    Last season when heads were down after a defeat, I felt some had not earned the right to be brassed off with themselves, what do they expect when they do not train??

    We do have some decent players, and would have done much better last season had we not missed a number of key players for large portions of the season, I'm certainly hoping they're going to be available more consistently this season, I may need all the help I can get!!

  9. #9
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Pickup View Post
    Depends on bowler, batsman, match situation... I can't see myself doing that when my overseas quick is bowling and has just got one wrong. More contextually for my level, it is when the batsman is clearly better than what is being served up and a continuation of the status quo will result in run haemorrhaging, so I want to frustrate them into indiscretions.
    Yeah I thought that was what you meant in your post. My guy would want to change things up straight away, and immediately after a 4 has been hit isn't the best time to try to put a fielder there if the batsman's not much chop and you're bowling alright...an angry reply of "No...I'm not trying to get hit for a ****ing 4" usually did the trick.

    Fair enough though if you're getting smashed and don't have the bowlers to stop the rot.

    Another thing to watch for in my opinion is mindlessly pushing the fielders out in the final overs of a one-dayer. If you're on top and into the tail this just gifts them runs every time they hit the ball. That and having no slip, which makes you bowl straighter thus pushing everything into the hitting zone if they're going to have a wild swing.

    Another cause of onfield arguments in my case.

  10. #10
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    I think the one of the hardest things a captain has to deal with is player attitudes...especially bowlers (as I've highlighted above ). One of the problems our team had (and still has) is players saying "I'm just going to go out there and bat like I always do" regardless of the situation. Well, great. See you in 3 minutes then...

    I struggle to handle this sort of thing just playing alongside these blokes, which is why I've never been a captain I guess.

  11. #11
    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son Of Coco View Post
    I think the one of the hardest things a captain has to deal with is player attitudes...especially bowlers (as I've highlighted above ). One of the problems our team had (and still has) is players saying "I'm just going to go out there and bat like I always do" regardless of the situation. Well, great. See you in 3 minutes then...

    I struggle to handle this sort of thing just playing alongside these blokes, which is why I've never been a captain I guess.
    Most captains dont know how to handle bowlers properly.

    Experienced bowlers know where they get hit, or leak runs, or where their edges go, far more than a captain.

    A captain can tell me what he wants ie attack, defend, balanced etc and I will set the field. Unless the captain says "I know this guys and he does xyz and I think we need this field" and then he can have a big input.

    If a captain tried to set a field for me then I would throw him the ball and tell him if he wants that field then he will have to bowl to the ****er.

    The hardest thing for a captain with fast bowlers is to massage the ego, appreciate the effort and pain they are going through whilst at the same time demanding that they almost kill themselves and spare no effort.

    A soft batsman that is captain will struggle to control his quicks as he will never get respect. He must encourage and support but be very firm and demanding.

  12. #12
    Hall of Fame Member Son Of Coco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goughy View Post
    Most captains dont know how to handle bowlers properly.

    Experienced bowlers know where they get hit, or leak runs, or where their edges go, far more than a captain.

    A captain can tell me what he wants ie attack, defend, balanced etc and I will set the field. Unless the captain says "I know this guys and he does xyz and I think we need this field" and then he can have a big input.

    If a captain tried to set a field for me then I would throw him the ball and tell him if he wants that field then he will have to bowl to the ****er.

    The hardest thing for a captain with fast bowlers is to massage the ego, appreciate the effort and pain they are going through whilst at the same time demanding that they almost kill themselves and spare no effort.

    A soft batsman that is captain will struggle to control his quicks as he will never get respect. He must encourage and support but be very firm and demanding.
    Yeah I agree, unfortunately a number of captains I've played under have been very poor in this department. I've had a couple of good ones but they're rare. Moving fielders from catching positions without telling you and setting a ring field for all the bowlers (something I hate as it basically says 'I don't think any of my bowlers are good enough to get you out') are big no no's.

    I had a captain insisting on a certain field when he wasn't even on the field (he was off taking a break), and his brother was stand-in. I said the same thing - "If he wants this ****ing field then he should bowl to it". Proceeded to bowl a series of half volleys to make my rather ill-tempered point

    On another occasion our rep captain wanted to push everyone back on the straight boundaries cause it was the last 5-6 overs of their 50 over innings. After a bit of an argument I bet him $100 the two batsmen in wouldn't hit a 4 past the fielders if they were up...

    Captaining on autopilot is a big no no.

  13. #13
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    Well things have gone quite well so far. With help from the Colts manager (a great club man) we got 11 out despite numerous start-of-season issues such as football (the village team is very good for such a small place), first team skipper's wife expecting any day, niggles and colds. I was worrying about it for ages but once we got out on the field I was fine. Pitch was hard on top and soft below so I was going to bowl before I found out the oppo only had 10 players, and I won the toss so no worries there.

    Our quick men, right arm and left arm respectively, bowled very well, taking 3-39 and 3-14, and then 13-year-old Shane bowled 4 overs for just 6 runs with one wicket- very promising young player. There was a run-out and I took a skier to end the innings for just 61. The opposition were very weak but we still did well. There were no alarms with their batsmen, though one bloke looked in good nick and laced some excellent cover drives, I dropped someone over from the leg side to field at deep cover (using the same strategy at the other end) although I'd be flattering myself if it contributed to his wicket (it was good bowling from our left-armer).

    This meant our lack of batting wasn't tested and we coasted home by 10 wickets. So an easy introduction to the captaincy. It will get a hell of a lot more difficult in future but I was glad that my ideas worked out well, particularly my focus on getting through deliveries quickly (not dawdling when throwing the ball back to the bowler, running between overs) to build pressure on the batsmen and not give them time to settle. I'm obviously very pleased but mustn't get carried away, just take some confidence forward. Cheers for the advice.

  14. #14
    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Uppercut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chubb View Post
    This meant our lack of batting wasn't tested and we coasted home by 10 wickets. So an easy introduction to the captaincy. It will get a hell of a lot more difficult in future but I was glad that my ideas worked out well, particularly my focus on getting through deliveries quickly (not dawdling when throwing the ball back to the bowler, running between overs) to build pressure on the batsmen and not give them time to settle. I'm obviously very pleased but mustn't get carried away, just take some confidence forward. Cheers for the advice.
    Interesting thought. It's widely considered to make things more difficult for batsmen to leave them waiting and let their nerves take over- look at how long it takes to bowl the final over of a tight ODI for details. It comes from a well-known public speaking technique- Hitler used to stand at the podium and say nothing for maybe a minute and a half before he started talking.

    Personally, in cricket i don't think it makes any difference to the batsman's concentration. But the upside of keeping things moving along quickly is that your side's fielding will improve visibly.
    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.

  15. #15
    State Captain Chubb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uppercut View Post
    Interesting thought. It's widely considered to make things more difficult for batsmen to leave them waiting and let their nerves take over- look at how long it takes to bowl the final over of a tight ODI for details. It comes from a well-known public speaking technique- Hitler used to stand at the podium and say nothing for maybe a minute and a half before he started talking.

    Personally, in cricket i don't think it makes any difference to the batsman's concentration. But the upside of keeping things moving along quickly is that your side's fielding will improve visibly.
    Different at the level I'm talking about. Batsmen like to relax and enjoy their innings, and they don't like it too intense, which was the idea- inject some intensity into things before a delivery is even bowled. Too often we dawdle and take time over everything and I wanted the guys- most of whom are young enough to deal with it- to rev things up a bit. It helped that their team was very weak and their openers knew it, and our opening bowlers are quick for that level, the pitch was helpful and they both used it well.
    Last edited by Chubb; 08-05-2009 at 11:51 AM.

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