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Thread: Batting/bowling and captaincy

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    International 12th Man Shaggy Alfresco's Avatar
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    Batting/bowling and captaincy

    Why is it that there are far more batting captains than bowling/all-rounder captains? Fleming, Ponting, Vaughan, Smith, Dravid, Inzi, Jayawardene, Lara, all batsmen. Why is it? Are batsmen inherently better captains than bowlers, is it hard to captain and bowl at the same time?

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    International Regular oz_fan's Avatar
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    I think it puts too much pressure on a bowler to make tactical decisions whilst bowling. Either the field settings or their bowling will suffer, where as a batsmen like Ponting or Fleming is able to concentrate on just the captaincy role. Captains also need to be fielding close to the wicket(e.g slips) to have a better understanding of the decisions they have to make and most bowlers field in the outfield. A captaining bowler may also leave himself in the attack to long in an effort to get a wicket when a new bowler is needed.
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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Bowling captains historically tend to have trouble knowing when best to bowl themselves.

    Added to that, so often it's neccessary to "play a captain's innings". While Shaun Pollock could do that, Darren Gough couldn't.
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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Bowling captains historically tend to have trouble knowing when best to bowl themselves.

    Added to that, so often it's neccessary to "play a captain's innings". While Shaun Pollock could do that, Darren Gough couldn't.
    I don't buy the captains innings, it's overated, surely a senior or classy batsmen can produce an innings of similar skill without captaining the team.

    The first point you made is definately the main reason IMO. It's also hard to concentrate and be active with field placings in the over your not bowling during a spell.


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    International Coach Barney Rubble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUFAN View Post
    I don't buy the captains innings, it's overated, surely a senior or classy batsmen can produce an innings of similar skill without captaining the team.
    The phrase "captain's innings" is just a figure of speech. Obviously any good batsman is capable of winning or saving a match for his team, but the point about captains being able to bat is that if your captain can't bat, then if and when you find yourself having to bat to save a match, he is effectively powerless.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Rubble View Post
    The phrase "captain's innings" is just a figure of speech. Obviously any good batsman is capable of winning or saving a match for his team, but the point about captains being able to bat is that if your captain can't bat, then if and when you find yourself having to bat to save a match, he is effectively powerless.
    Similarly, if and when you find yourself having to defend a small score and bowl your way to victory, Ricky Ponting is powerless other than to change his bowlers around. I do not buy into the "captain's innings" thing one bit really.
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    Hall of Fame Member NUFAN's Avatar
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    Yes I agree Prince, it seems as though Barney Rumble wants an all rounder as a captain someone like a Pollock or Imran, so he's got power chasing or defending a score.

    The good thing with having a batsmen as a captain is that he knows where to hit the ball, so he puts the fielders there.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince EWS View Post
    Similarly, if and when you find yourself having to defend a small score and bowl your way to victory, Ricky Ponting is powerless other than to change his bowlers around. I do not buy into the "captain's innings" thing one bit really.
    But a captain can't do much by changing his batting around.

    IMO it's more important that a captain can bat than bowl.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    But a captain can't do much by changing his batting around.

    IMO it's more important that a captain can bat than bowl.
    IMO it's highly irrelevant either way. You don't have to be a good player to be a good captain, as long as you have the respect of your team. Obviously, leading from the front and performing well goes a long way to achieving that, but there are other means. The "captain's innings" is really a myth IMO - all of the specialist batsmen in the side should be capable of producing match-winning innings on occasion. Being the captain has little to do with that as far as I'm concerned.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Of course they should. I'm not saying for a second they shouldn't.

    But the "captain's innings" has always been one of the greatest things about cricket IMO - nothing better than seeing a captain standing on the burning bridge blocking all that is thrown his way and eventually stepping back as the structure crashes down around his enemy's ears, leaving no route in which to defeat his team.

    You think, for instance, that Atherton's 185* would be quite so revered as it is had he not been captain that game?

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Of course they should. I'm not saying for a second they shouldn't.

    But the "captain's innings" has always been one of the greatest things about cricket IMO - nothing better than seeing a captain standing on the burning bridge blocking all that is thrown his way and eventually stepping back as the structure crashes down around his enemy's ears, leaving no route in which to defeat his team.

    You think, for instance, that Atherton's 185* would be quite so revered as it is had he not been captain that game?
    How is revere actually relevant to how good a captain you actually are though? I don't for a second think he would have gone about that any differently than if he wasn't captain.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Oh, it's not much to how good a captain you are - though obviously having played an innings like that is going to make someone more respected - but there's virtually no equivalent as a bowler.

    There's no "captain's spell" mention in my experience.

    It's only a fairly little thing, but I do think it's not completely insignificant.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Oh, it's not much to how good a captain you are - though obviously having played an innings like that is going to make someone more respected - but there's virtually no equivalent as a bowler.

    There's no "captain's spell" mention in my experience.

    It's only a fairly little thing, but I do think it's not completely insignificant.
    There may not be such a regular term for it, but it exists as much as a captain's innings, IMO. A tired captaining bowler to bowl his heart out for two consecutive sessions with minimal rest and take a bag full of wickets to ensure his team victory, for example. it may not be called a "captain's spell" but it would been the equivalent of such.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    It certainly would - but the point I'm making is purely about what it's generally remembered as.

    "Playing a captain's innings" is one of the things a good captain is often remembered for, rightly or wrongly.

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    Global Moderator Prince EWS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    It certainly would - but the point I'm making is purely about what it's generally remembered as.

    "Playing a captain's innings" is one of the things a good captain is often remembered for, rightly or wrongly.
    How does what someone is remembered for make them any more or less effective though? There are a number of good arguments for having a batsman as captain - but the "captain's innings" is not one of them.

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