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View Poll Results: Best Test match captain?

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  • Archie McLaren

    0 0%
  • Warwick Armstrong

    1 1.27%
  • Bill Woodfull

    0 0%
  • Douglas Jardine

    6 7.59%
  • Frank Worrell

    1 1.27%
  • Richie Benaud

    10 12.66%
  • Raymond Illingworth

    1 1.27%
  • Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

    0 0%
  • Ian Chappell

    4 5.06%
  • Mike Brearley

    9 11.39%
  • Imran Khan

    12 15.19%
  • Allan Border

    3 3.80%
  • Arjuna Ranatunga

    5 6.33%
  • Mark Taylor

    7 8.86%
  • Stephen Fleming

    20 25.32%
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Thread: Rate the captains

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Rate the captains

    Amid the Brearley-vs-Lloyd thread several interesting questions are raised. So I feel it best for a separate thread discussing not two but many great cricket captains. I don't include Stephen Waugh or Clive Lloyd as I don't feel either were particularly good captains - and Allan Border is included with great hesitency too. But obviously they will receive their share of discussion.

    I post a poll for people to vote for who they think best - but as I say, the idea is not really about who's best, but trying to establish why those who were good were so good.
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  2. #2
    ret
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    from the ones that I have seen in no particular order

    Mark Taylor ----> liked his attitude to play for a win .... mostly positive and aggressive

    Martin Crowe ----> great motivator, lead from the front and innovative [opened the bowling with Deepak Patel, the off spinner

    Imran Khan ----> same qualities as Crowe .... and very attacking

    Tendulkar ----> great motivator, carried the burden of the side, good strategist, has ability to bring out the best from players

    Dhoni ----> a cool head, absorbs pressure, innovative, strategist and attacking


    Those who almost made it

    Ganguly ----> could have made the list for his aggression but was found wanting on the tactic front, along with being selfish on occasion and continuing to open even when seriously out of touch

    Ranatunga ----> pretty cool customer but sometimes became unidimensional like over reliance on Murali, seen him set a packed leg-side field and then ofc the decision to continue to bat on a flat track to get that world record of 900+ instead of trying to make a match out of it, esp when SL hardly beat Ind in tests

    Cronje ----> good but for that scandal

    Waugh ----> strong mental strength but not in the league of taylor
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  3. #3
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    I'd add - wouldn't hesitate to include Cronje in this list but for the match-fixing scandal. And while in many ways this is unrelated to his captaincy skills - many of his spurs were won before he even so much as spoke to bookmakers - there are elements of his captaincy that are and will always be entwined with the match-fixing scandal, and make it impossible for me to consider him alongside other skippers who are not known to have had any such illicit associations.

    BTW, Ranatunga had no chance of a result in that Premadasa game in 1997. It'd have taken 7 days at least to get a result on that pitch.

  4. #4
    JJD Heads Athlai's Avatar
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    Voted for Fleming due to him being the best in my lifetime, and captaincy is such a hard thing to truly appreciate through the history books.
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  5. #5
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Gotta love the way Fleming gets 4 votes before most people get 1... and at least 3 from young Kiwis too.

    Seriously, though - wouldn't be completely outrageous to suggest him as the greatest captain ever, though I'd not really think too hard about it TBH.

  6. #6
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Two gullies and a backward point to Martyn make one the best captain ever?
    Fleming was very good, but better than Brearley? Jardine? Even Armstrong, Chappell or Benaud in terms of on-field stuff? For their unifying ability, Worrell and Imran were both top shelf as well. Sir Frank's appointment was a huge deal for the time, and what his side did here in 60-61 left a massive legacy on the game.
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  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member NZTailender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    Two gullies and a backward point to Martyn make one the best captain ever?
    Fleming was very good, but better than Brearley? Jardine? Even Armstrong, Chappell or Benaud in terms of on-field stuff? For their unifying ability, Worrell and Imran were both top shelf as well. Sir Frank's appointment was a huge deal for the time, and what his side did here in 60-61 left a massive legacy on the game.
    Do I have to repeat myself? Do you realise he played against other nations?
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  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    For their unifying ability, Worrell and Imran were both top shelf as well.
    And because they had such rare skill in this capacity, their tactical on-field acumen is often overlooked. But both were sharp as tacks here too.

  9. #9
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    Richie Benaud of the ones you list for his agression, tactical ability and ingenuity and motivation.

    Although I think you are being quite harsh on some other captains including Sir Donald Bradman, Lindsay Hassett and Herbie Collins by not including them in the poll.

  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NZTailender View Post
    Do I have to repeat myself? Do you realise he played against other nations?
    No you don't, and I'm not saying he wasn't a fine captain. I'm simply questioning Richard's comment about him being arguably the greatest captain of all time.

  11. #11
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    Fleming is the only one I have seen so i can't really judge the others, hence Fleming.

    And can we just erase the little myth that Fleming is rated so highly only because of field settings to Australian batsmen? Try captaining (and winning/competing) in games with the likes of Tama Canning and Iain O'Brien.
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    Well yeah Tendy is probably better than Bradman, but Bradman was 70 years ago, if he grew up in the modern era he'd still easily be the best. Though he wasn't, can understand the argument for Tendy even though I don't agree.
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  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flem274* View Post
    Fleming is the only one I have seen so i can't really judge the others, hence Fleming.

    And can we just erase the little myth that Fleming is rated so highly only because of field settings to Australian batsmen? Try captaining (and winning/competing) in games with the likes of Tama Canning and Iain O'Brien.
    I know, I know. It's part of his mystique though.

    I mean, AB won some tests in the 80s with a meh side as well. But I wouldn't rate him as highly as Fleming or others as a skipper.

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    There ia a lovely book called The Great Captains - edited by Arlott and first published in 1971.

    It lists (in order of their respective careers)

    1. Mclaren
    2. Warner
    3. Jardine
    4. Sellers
    5. Wooller
    6. Surridge
    7. Cheetham
    8. Worrell


    Those in red are missing from our poll - one presumes because almost all of them (barring South African Cheetham) made a name for themselves as captains basically in domestic cricket.

    To the list of great captains outside test cricket, post 1970, one could add Clive Rice and ML Jaisimha.

  15. #15
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    Surprised at the lack of Chappelli love here. Of those I've read about but never seen, I'd put him at the top. Top-shelf commentator too when he's not rambling about the old days and concentrates on what's actually happening on the field at that moment.

    Of those I've seen, Shane Warne. Let's face it, for much of his career, his strengths as a leggie were his accuracy and expertise in the fundamentals (hard-spun leggie, etc.) as he didn't have a huge bag of tricks, moreso variations on a theme. Tactical nous got him a lot of wickets and on that note, as a captain, I've never seen better. Him and Lehmann going head to head as captains would be a treat to watch because when facing each other as players, it was all class.
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