In the captaincy thread, we had Steve Waugh v Ganguly and people telling us how Waugh was just this unbelievably good captain ( a captaincy great was how Marc the Warwickshire Zealot put it) .
.......Steve Waugh was a great batsman, no arguments from me on that count.....one of the best I have seen in 15 years of test match watching....but as a captain, I think he was better than Ponting (which isn't really saying much ) but well below the brilliant Mark taylor and Allan Border.
I think Waugh just reaped what Taylor and AB sowed....he captained an Aussie team at the absolute zenith of their powers....with Mcgrath, Fleming, Gillespie and Warne at their absolute peaks backed by Useful bowlers in Kasper and McGill......even Scaly Piscine could have captained that Australian team with success.
The reason I don't think Waugh was that great as a captain was that he often lacked a Plan B....sure PLan A worked most of the time thanks to the quality of the team he was captaining, but when an opposition decided to fight it out....in particular when two opposition batsmen were well set and putting on a big partnership, he seemed completely bereft of ideas and would instruct his bowlers to bowl wide outside off stump in the hope of inducing a mistake from the batsmen.
It was the same tactic he tried in the Windies in 1999 when Lara made his big scores, in India in 2001 (where it came horribly unstuck), against NZl at Perth in 2001 and against India at home in 2003-2004.
Needless to say Australia failed to win any of those series and I think his unimaginative captaincy definitely played a role in that.
In short, decent captain but definitely overrated.