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Thread: The Captains input regarding selection

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    The Captains input regarding selection

    So who should pick the teams? Should the captain have a say? Should he have the full say on team selection? Or just a slight input?

    It's just interesting when players like Peterson and Lewis are selected, its obvious that they can't seem to cut the mustard, and the captain has no faith in them whatsoever, whats the point in them playing?
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    International Vice-Captain Jungle Jumbo's Avatar
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    There are three ways to do it:

    Either...

    ... the captain sits in on selection and has a direct influence on who is in the team. Captain ends up happy when he has his way. Captain ends up unhappy when his view is clearly not that of the selectors.

    ... the captain has an influence on the selection, but is not directly involved. IMO this only results in the captain not getting his way.

    ... the captain has little influence on selection, and just makes the best of the team that turns up.

    I think the best method is the last one (provided we are discussing an international side, not a state/county/club side). Should the captain sit in on the meetings, there could be two problems: a) the selectors diagree with him, damaging their relationships, or b) players are unhappy with the captain if they are dropped since he has some direct responsibilty with that player being dropped. Imagine if Dravid had had a big influence on Ganguly being dropped, not necessarily this time, but before Christmas against Sri Lanka? He would have been the scapegoat of the pro-Ganguly gang.

    If you use the second method, there must be a healthy trusting relationship between the captain and the selectors. It can work well, but can fall apart easily.

    The last method seems to me to be the best. If the captain has a clear conscience about selection issues, then he will remain well respected by his team mates even if poor selections are made - the selectors will be the ones under fire. It allows him to think more about on-field tactics, and to concentrate on his own game. The only problem with this really occurs somewhere like India, where the selectors are heavily biased towards players from their own zone. This is where the captains influence may be helpful, particularly if he has done his job correctly and has a good understanding of the players in the frame and has the team's best interest at heart.

    With regards to the Lewis/Peterson situation, I don't see this as a major selection problem involving the captain, what we have here is a) lack of Australian bowling backup, and b) lack of a South African spinner. If the captain has a serious problem, then he should make his views clear to the board, but if these players are deemed to be the best possible by the selectors, then it is difficult to complain.

    Actually I have been more impressed by Peterson than I have been by Boje in the past. Admittedly I have only seen him bowl recently in the Pro20 and Sunday's ODI, but he looks capable of turning the ball and getting out batsmen, whereas Boje never looked like taking more than a couple of wickets a match.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Michael Atherton, whose book is the best on captaincy I've ever read (yet to read The Art Of Captaincy), said he was always happiest either when the selectors gave him the team or he and the coach had almost complete control. He hated sitting on the panel and not really having influence (kinda inevitable when your panel is made up in half of Brian Bolus and Fred Titmus).
    Really, I think it's probably best for the captain to be given the team and make the best of what he's given. It's pretty obvious to anyone that Robin Peterson and the like would not have been given anywhere near as many chances (if any at all) were they not from previously-disadvantaged background.
    Frankly, I've generally found that when captains have had most say in selection it's resulted in people like Andrew Symonds being picked when there's simply no logic behind it whatsoever (still one of the worst selections I've ever seen). Often captains have favourites, because they're "in" the team, rather than having a coach\CoS who's involved but not in the same way as a captain would. There's nothing ostensibly wrong with having huge faith in a player, but very often it can be misplaced if he's someone you're close to (how much longer might Robin Smith have played if Atherton had been the chief selector?) and that can have a detrimental affect on the team.
    Cricket is the only team-sport in The World that has this problem. In rugby, football, etc. the captain is nought but a glorified on-field cheerleader (to use Atherton's phrase). In cricket, there is of course an element of unfairness in foistering on a captain someone who he has no faith in, but it's still probably the best way to do things.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Jumbo
    Actually I have been more impressed by Peterson than I have been by Boje in the past. Admittedly I have only seen him bowl recently in the Pro20 and Sunday's ODI, but he looks capable of turning the ball and getting out batsmen, whereas Boje never looked like taking more than a couple of wickets a match.
    Believe me, Peterson is nothing other than a virtaul Boje-clone.
    People often think a spinner is capable of turning the ball more than another if they see them only in an isolated instance having seen another for ages.
    Boje can turn the ball on helpful surfaces - so can Peterson.
    Boje, though, is unquestionably more accurate than Peterson.


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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard
    Boje, though, is unquestionably more accurate than Peterson.
    As well as a better batsman and a very good thinker.. Whilst not the best bowler, Boje deserves his spot when the conditions warrant spin bowling..

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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    I agree with Richard; that is the captain should have no say in selection.
    You know it makes sense.

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    Global Moderator vic_orthdox's Avatar
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    If the captain (and the coach) has no input, it is imperative that you have like-minded selectors.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    As Michael Atherton didn't.

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    Soutie Langeveldt's Avatar
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    I think the captain should have a large say in selection, after all, he probably knows his players better than anyone, and his neck is on the line if the team fails..

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Well... so is the coach's.
    Graeme has already gone through 4 coaches (if you count his appointment before Ford's sacking, which strictly speaking he wasn't), which suggests he's got less blame than some. IIRR a CoS was replaced fairly recently, too.
    Great coaches like Duncan know players without having to get into the mateyness the way Vaughan, especially, has done. Vaughan's comment that he'd "not even consider not having him (Harmison) in the team" after Harmison had just averaged about 50 in his last 9 Tests suggests to me that he's a) got a bit too much influence and b) lets his "my boys" attitude blind him to the facts.

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    Cricket Web Content Updater roseboy64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    I think the captain should have a large say in selection, after all, he probably knows his players better than anyone, and his neck is on the line if the team fails..
    I agree with that.
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    State 12th Man Autobahn's Avatar
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    You should read the book Rich, Mike Brearley devotes a whole chapter to it in which he basically says that a captain is unlikely to get anything out of a player he didn't want there in the first place, but at the same time needs the experience and knowledge of the other selectors to give him objectivity on the players that are up for consideration.

    The only times the first method has failed is when people don't pay attention when choosing selectors and you end-up with pig-headed types (e.g. illingworth and titmus) who don't even enter into debates with the captain.

    The second method again will cause tension within the ranks because even if the captain wanted a certain player and was ignored by the board, the player will still suspect his Captain had something to do with since there's no offical way of proving that he didn't. Plus it again relies on good selectors to take the captain's advice and not just ignore it.

    The third way is utter stupidity, Brearley re-counts that when Illingworth was manager of Yorkshire he would present Old with 12 names and discuss who would be 12th man on the morning of a match. I mean what's the point in being a captain then? Why should Old go out and have to encourage 10 men he had no hand in picking?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Langeveldt
    I think the captain should have a large say in selection, after all, he probably knows his players better than anyone, and his neck is on the line if the team fails..
    I agree with that comment, if the captain is not happy with the team selected, I really can't see him being able to lead the bunch of players, whom he doesn't want and the players (not wanted) being able to play to their best abilities or add any value to the team. Result would always be negative to the team in the end.

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    State Vice-Captain sirjeremy11's Avatar
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    I think this should be on a case by case basis.

    If I was the captain, I would certainly want to have some input into the players in the team. If I was unhappy with a couple of players in the team (I would hope that if they were good performers, and I had problems with them personally, I would over see this and act professionally), and knew that there were better suited ones out there, it would certainly hamper my ability to captain.

    If a captain can't keep aside his personal feelings from what is best for the team, then I would hope that they had nothing to do with who is in the team.

    And on that, I wonder what sort of input Taibu had on who was in his team? Feel sorry for that guy. Just a kid. Quite a bit of talent. Now, probably lost from the international game.
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    International Coach adharcric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirjeremy11
    I think this should be on a case by case basis.

    If I was the captain, I would certainly want to have some input into the players in the team. If I was unhappy with a couple of players in the team (I would hope that if they were good performers, and I had problems with them personally, I would over see this and act professionally), and knew that there were better suited ones out there, it would certainly hamper my ability to captain.

    If a captain can't keep aside his personal feelings from what is best for the team, then I would hope that they had nothing to do with who is in the team.

    And on that, I wonder what sort of input Taibu had on who was in his team? Feel sorry for that guy. Just a kid. Quite a bit of talent. Now, probably lost from the international game.
    He'll replace Geraint Jones or Mark Boucher in a few years, just wait and watch ...

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