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Thread: The Great Captains

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    U19 Captain listento_me's Avatar
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    The Great Captains

    I've been working on this series for a while now, probably a year and I have finally put together a list the five greatest cricketing captains in the history of this sport. I have tried to be as objective as possible and considering the limit of only five names, the true upper echelon of the game, there are many names that will be excluded. This list is not to say that the likes of Ponting, Richards, Dhoni, Tayor, Miandad, Fleming and co were not great captains. It is essentially an exercise in sorting the wheat...from the other wheat.

    The criteria used looks into how successful said captain, how they defined their team and team culture, their influence and ultimately their legacy, i.e. did they leave their national cricket team in a better position than they found it.

    We start off with number 5:

    Douglas Jardine


    “To me and every member of the 1932-33 MCC side in Australia, Douglas Jardine was the greatest captain England ever had. A great fighter, a grand friend and an unforgiving enemy.”
    W.E. Bowes

    The last three words, from the above tribute by Bowes, a terrific first class cricketer in his own right, describe Jardine and his captaincy to a tee. Body line is what Jardine is defined by and his tour to Australia in 1932-33 is quite possibly the most iconic Ashes tour in history. Over a period of four months, Jardine showed he was more than just a regular captain; he was an “unforgiving enemy”.

    However, before we get to Australia it is important to consider Jardine’s first series as captain. Against a mediocre yet challenging New Zealand side, Jardine went about instilling a hard, gritty mentality into his batsmen. They would score runs and they would get them ugly if need be. The English were not a team of flashy cavaliers; they were a team of technically astute batsmen. Jardine was one such man. His team would be built in his image, long before he utilised pace and fire.

    After beating the Kiwis, Jardine would turn his attention to India and with the help of Voce (who would become key against Australia) he would rout the Indian batsmen for less than two hundred in both innings. Larwood was absent but once he joined Voce down under, all hell would break loose but these series of matches were already helping Jardine formulate his famous plan.

    Once in Australia, Sydney to be exact, Jardine would turn the screw. Voce and of course Larwood, would become his weapons of choice. What follows is history and a 4-1 drubbing of a genuinely good, genuinely adept Australian side. The fall out would change cricket, new restrictions on the bouncer and catchers would follow and the game would be forever changed but it was Jardine who was unforgiving enough to do whatever it took to win the series. The one that always mattered most. He would follow it up with two successes against India. By then, he had solidified himself as one of the most important captains in the history of the game and certainly England’s fiercest tactical operator.

    It would not be inaccurate to say that the employment of fast bowling by Jardine would influence generations of West Indian and Australian fast bowlers. Like any great, Jardine was an innovator and as a captain could be a shrewd skillful leader of men. Unlike any other captain on this list, his single tactical decision decided the fate of an entire series.

    Captained 15 tests
    Won 9
    Lost 1
    Draw 5
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    Plainly number one will be Allan Border. If it isn't you're kidding yourself and should go home now.
    Last edited by Burgey; 04-12-2016 at 05:21 AM.
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    International Coach Gnske's Avatar
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    How is Jardine not no.1? Loved his body of work and the body count especially.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    It'll be hilarious when Ganguly, Imran or Kapil Dev get named number one in this thread. I mean, Dev flukes a WC in a sea of mediocrity, Imran supposedly made Pakistan a force but really they were the best side inthe world for three weeks of his five plus year reign, and that only in ODIs, and Ganguly was King of Spuds. Wouldn't have held a spot in a decent side for more than four months.

    Still, let's indulge it.


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    Hall of Fame Member harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Viv should be here though. Long, unbeaten record.
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    U19 Captain listento_me's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnske View Post
    How is Jardine not no.1? Loved his body of work and the body count especially.
    no idea what that means

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    Lloyd, Worrell, G Smith. All good candidates. Kohli already > any subcontinent contender except Misbah who is massively in the discussion IMO
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    International Captain indiaholic's Avatar
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    Is winning a long series of games the best way to decide who is 'better'? Isn't that mostly a function of the quality of players you have? Imo it should be the more nebulous things like tactical nous and man management skills which are very difficult to judge watching on television.
    Quote Originally Posted by duffer View Post
    Heh.

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by listento_me View Post
    no idea what that means
    He's referring to bodyline and the fact Woodfull and Oldfield in particular got nailed. Fmd man, come on
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indiaholic View Post
    Is winning a long series of games the best way to decide who is 'better'? Isn't that mostly a function of the quality of players you have? Imo it should be the more nebulous things like tactical nous and man management skills which are very difficult to judge watching on television.
    I agree, but they're going to be so individual that it's nigh impossible to choose between a lot of excellent skippers.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend honestbharani's Avatar
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    Well, you can always start your own thread, Burgey
    We miss you, Fardin. :(. RIP.
    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Burgey's Avatar
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    I could but I'm hammered . And in any event it's all about TOTAB. Look up his record and how he rebuilt that side. How many tests as skipper, how the team got better and better under him. Legend.
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    International Debutant Bijed's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether Jardine should be No. 5, No. 1 or whatever, I again enjoyed reading this. Good work
    Last edited by Bijed; 04-12-2016 at 09:20 AM.
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    Follow me @cricket_gc, should you want to learn more of my cricketing thoughts and opinions, or read them in more detail on my blog: https://gccricket.wordpress.com

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    the guy's trash bro
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    Remember when Jardine got voted into cricketwebs top 100 players or whatever list
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    Evil Scotsman
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    A glorious day.
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