May 13, 2010

Ian Chappell rates Ponting higher than Waugh

Cricinfo staff

Former Australian captain turned commentator Ian Chappell has rated Ricky Ponting a better leader than Steve Waugh. Chappell said Ponting has managed to keep Australia competitive even after losing star players, while Waugh, who had high-class players at his disposal for most of his captaincy career, struggled when challenged.

"I think out of the last four Australian captains, Steve Waugh runs fourth in my book. I have got Mark Taylor, Ricky Ponting and Allan Border…" Chappell told Harsha Bhogle on Cricinfo's Opening Up. "I think Ponting is a bit conservative with his field placings for my liking, but when you think of the turnover... in the case of Warne and Glenn McGrath, two champion bowlers. He has had an enormous turnover of that level of players, and yet he has still kept Australia competitive."

In 2009, Ponting became the first Australian captain since Billy Murdoch in the 19th century to lose the Ashes twice. But Chappell said he did not rate captains by their win-loss records and that Ponting fared better than Waugh when on the back foot. "The reason why I don't rank Steve Waugh very highly is because I think he ran out of ideas pretty quickly. He didn't have to run out of ideas quickly very often, because he wasn't under the pump very often. But I saw him run out of ideas. Kolkata, for instance, in 2001... I have never seen Ricky Ponting run out of ideas."

Imran Khan, Mike Gatting and Arjuna Ranatunga were other captains Chappell said he admired. Mike Brearley, the England captain famous for his tactical nous but not his cricketing talent, was not on Chappell's list. "I think I would say about Mike Brearley that I always thought it was hard enough to win a game when you are playing 11 v 11. Why are you going into the game with 10 v 11?"

Ranatunga's mettle was proved not only at the 1996 World Cup but also when Sri Lanka were clearly the weaker side, Chappell said. "I saw him in a game at Bellerive Oval where he was outgunned. fact, Australia really only won the game on the final day in the last session, when they were the only team who were going to win from three and a half days on. But Arjuna kept that side in the game for much longer than they had any right to be."

Chappell said captaining a side was harder today because of the different formats and the interaction with the media, but he said captains today were not doing right by prioritising boundary-saving over wicket-taking and by delegating match-turning decisions to their team-mates. "My order of priority is wickets, way up there, right at the top by miles; saving singles next, quite a distance down; and then, way down, saving boundaries."

Chappell pointed at South Africa as a side that placed a premium on boundary-saving. "The idea with South African captaincy basically is, if you've got a couple of quickies, use them, and then you've got these seamers to hold things tight in between times till your real quickies are ready to come back again. So I think they place too high a store on containment, whereas I like captains who are always trying to get the opposition out."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Elia on May 16, 2010, 12:12 GMT

    Shane I agree with you totally. He has never rated Steve. Never would. Steve always played to win. Ian was an average cricketer a sub standard commentator.

  • Abhijith on May 16, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    I agree with Ian.Because and the pressure situations both Ricky Steve had are totally different. Steve is fans favorite but not Ricky. People always try to find out something wrong in Ricky. But time to time, again and again he proved critics wrong. With the amount of turnover Oz had over the past few years rebuilding a team is not an easy task. Punter did that and still maintained Australia's position as one of the strong contender for any of the big tournament. It's easy to criticize the team or captain when they lose but not easy to face that situation Ponting faced such situation and rebuild ed the team If Australia dominate cricket for nex 5 to 10 years then the credit should go to Ricky. Because he has built entire new team. a new generation.

  • crusty on May 15, 2010, 10:35 GMT

    Ian Chappell is so bitter and twisted he sounds more and more like a grumpy old man better suited to a retirement home!

  • David on May 15, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    i totally agree with Ian Chappell's article. Ex-players have mentioned that Steve Waugh hardly game suggestions / comments on the field and was hardly inspirational ... i saw Damien Fleming during Fox commentary say that when he (Fleming) had to bowl the last balls in the World Cup semi final against South Africa and South Africa only needed 1 run to win, he asked Steve Waugh for advice and Steve Waugh told him it didn't matter since they (Australia) were stuffed anyway. I can't imagine Allan Border or Ricky Ponting saying that and basically giving up.

  • indra on May 15, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    Nice to see lots of support for Steve!! This is not something new from Chappell. He does it time and again. When Waugh was given the captaincy, he commented him to be unfit as he is too self focused. But Steve proved him wrong. Most of the trophies lined up at CA HQ was won by Steve Waugh. As many has said here, he changed the way test cricket is played. He always played to win. There were very few no of draws. All teams have great players, but there is no point in having them unless u use them the right way and thats how the aussie team formed under Steve. During 1999 world cup, there was talks about Shane Warne's performance and probably resting him, but Steve instilled his confidence in him and Shane did the rest. He taught the other teams the importance of batting with the bowlers and now we see many lower order players too saving games. We can go on and on. Its good that Steve Waugh doesnt react to all these comment. We are tired of these comments Mr. Chappell, please rest it

  • Shane on May 15, 2010, 6:16 GMT

    Chappelli has been banging on about this for years and it is getting boring. Surely his opinion of Steve Waugh is no longer newsworthy! (Maybe 50+ comments says otherwise) He really should preface any comment with Steve Waugh by saying 'I hate his guts' or 'I hate him because he was captain and Warney was not.' Some of his commentary is reasonable but his bias and hatred of Waugh is so great that it just becomes white noise. In terms of best captain from the last four (exlcuding Gilly filling in) Taylor is probably number 1, AB no 2 - not because of his captaincy on or off field but purely because of his batting brought us back from the doldrums to the brink of greatness, Waugh 3 and Ponting 4. That is not to say Ponting is terrible but he is number 4 of that grouping.

  • Brett on May 15, 2010, 3:57 GMT

    Ian u know a lot about Cricket but u have always had it in for Steve, and I think if he had of been Captain of last years Ashes we would have won. Ponting is a champian batsmen but just an average Captain.

  • Billy on May 15, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    It is true that there is bad blood between Chappell and Waugh, so any comments made must be taken with a grain of salt. I think both Ponting and Waugh are good captains but Taylor and Border were streets ahead. Ponting has some well-known flaws that he has been addressing. He is still quite conservative and doesn't know how to really blast an opponent. Ironically, Steve Waugh could do that, but Waugh selfishly chased history at the expense of the team's results by losing the unloseable series against India. I remember that test match well, and waugh had many opportunities to pull the plug and stop chasing the win (they were leading 1 nil already). Instead Australia lost, and that changed the mindset of Australian cricket (we rarely ever enforce the follow-on anymore). Incidentally, if you want to talk stats, Taylor had a better series captaincy record than Waugh, he lost two test series just like Waugh, but Waugh also drew one series while Taylor won all the other.

  • Sheehan on May 14, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    By disrespecting Steve Waugh, all Ian Chappell will be able to accomplish is to earn disrespect from fans. Totally disagree with Chappell's comments, all of which is biased and some of which are unrealistic and self-contradictory. A captain is always judged according to the success he brings. Thats the way cricket is played, and most other sports too. Let me not talk about Steve's achievements as batsmen. As a capitain, Steve Waugh by records is the most successful in Test cricket, and in my opinion better than anybody ever, including Sir Don and Clive Lloyds. He has changed the face of test cricket. He led his team to win in WC 99 when nobody thought they had a chance. These type of comments and false analysis from Ian are extremely unaaceptable.

  • Surendra on May 14, 2010, 16:08 GMT

    Quite iteresting, I did not see any mention of Clive Lloyd in the article,

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