Australia news November 4, 2010

North rejects speculation over Test captaincy

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Marcus North has rejected speculation that he may be in line to be Australia's next Test captain. There have been suggestions in the Australian media of a rift in the national team over Michael Clarke's limited-overs captaincy, and position as next in line for the leadership role behind current incumbent Ricky Ponting.

Following a string of disappointing results from the national side, culminating in the dramatic one-wicket loss to Sri Lanka at the MCG on Wednesday, reports emerged of deep divisions in the Australian team over Clarke's grooming as Ponting's successor. But North emphatically denied any truth to the stories.

"What I've woken up and read this morning is completely unfounded," he said. "I've never seen it. I must be playing in another cricket team if that's a fact. Yesterday the feeling in the media is who can replace North and then the next minute I'm being touted as Australian captain. In an Ashes summer you can expect a bit of hype and a few stories but I think we're scraping the barrel there a bit. It's a bit of humour to me. It's just another story, it will be forgotten about tomorrow."

North captains Western Australia, but insisted that leading the Test side was not part of his plans. "Obviously Ricky's here to stay for a number of years yet and Michael Clarke's been the one that's being groomed as the next captain," he said. "When he [Clarke] has taken over from Ricky he's been very, very good at leading the side, it's something that certainly doesn't enter my thinking at all."

North was adamant that he was concentrating on Western Australia's tour game against England, starting on Friday at the WACA, and said that the decision to play in the game and expose himself to England's Test attack ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane was an easy one.

"I never hesitated at all," said North. "When Western Australia gets an opportunity to play a touring side, it's something that we always honour and look forward to as state players. It just gives me a great opportunity to keep playing another first-class game against a quality opposition. If I'm worried about [whether] they're going to come hard at me, well they're going to come hard in the first Test so I expect nothing different come tomorrow."

Mike Hussey, North's team-mate in both the Western Australia and Test sides, also dismissed rumours of trouble in the Australian camp. A recent report in a Sydney newspaper implied a tiff had occurred between Hussey and Clarke over comments Clarke made surrounding Hussey's late arrival prior to the first Test against India in Mohali in October.

At the insistence of Cricket Australia, both Hussey and Doug Bollinger had played in the final stages of the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa, a tournament CA has a stake in, rather than travelling to India at the same time as the rest of the national team. While Clarke did not specifically name either player, he publicly questioned the decision to play in tournaments such as the Indian Premier League and Champions League, arguing that national duty should be the priority.

But Hussey insisted there are "no problems whatsoever" in his relationship with Clarke, adding: "I have a very good relationship actually with Michael Clarke. We talk about cricket every time we're in the dressing room. I have no issues whatsoever so I'm not exactly sure where some of these so called issues are coming from. I haven't read the article so I don't know exactly what's going on, but all I can say is our team is really tight."

Hussey also played down the media speculation over Ponting's potential successor as Test captain, backing Clarke's position as captain-in-waiting. "I think he's got some very good leadership qualities," he said. "He leads from the front, he's very decisive and he's got a very, very good cricket brain. He understands the game very well, understands the pressures of the game very well and I think he's learning all the time and who better to learn under than Ricky Ponting?"

Australia have struggled in the lead-up to the Ashes and are in the midst of a six-game losing streak, but Hussey insisted a united team would soon be back to winning ways. "In a lot of those matches we've been in great positions to win the game and we just haven't been able to finish it off," he said.

"We just have to keep getting ourselves into those winning positions and then we just have to push even harder on the pedal and really make sure we get a victory and get that winning feeling back. It's a really important time that we stick together to keep backing each other, keep trusting our plans and our processes and knowing that if we stick to what we know works then we will come through the other side."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | November 8, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Australian slide started when Harbhajan ended symonds' career and ACB was intimated by Indian board and sided with them rather than their own players. Shame on ACB for finishing Australian cricket!

  • POSTED BY theswami on | November 7, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    Hussey should be captain till he retires ....... Pup is still Pup, not yet a fully-grown bulldog (will he ever be ?) ....... Shane Watson should become the new captain-in-waiting ...

  • POSTED BY on | November 5, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    @chiefy...I agree that these guys in the team are so much better than us commenters here and we should support them, its just that how can you support old guys who keep underperforming when there are so many young batsmen waiting in domestic cricket? If we were having these losses with young players looking to find their feet at international level it would be easier to deal with, because clearly they are rebuilding. The selectors throw some young guys in, but then they're out in the the next match or series, so we fans have no idea what the heck is going on with the team. Ferguson is a clear example of that - in the squad for a year, gets injured, goes to India with the Aussies, scores runs at home and then doesn't get picked in the home series squads. Which makes it baffling that the consistently underperforming and aged middle order can't get dropped. Oh and how can you leave Doherty out of a team after 4 wickets and a run out?

  • POSTED BY Kar_cric_fan on | November 5, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Australia are in a transitional phase at the moment and their people are quite frustrated that its taking an awful long time. Media- both local and international are having a field day by creating unnecessary stories about the team.

    And people talking about India - get a life, dont drag india into all the articles publiished by CricInfo. This is an article about Marcus North for crying out loud!!

  • POSTED BY Worst11 on | November 5, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I dont know whats funny - Reading about North as a captain or reading about unrelated india-pak comments.

  • POSTED BY chiefy14 on | November 5, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Rather than sit around, speculate and criticise what is going on for our test team, as a country we should show our support for our players. sure, there are some people who might not be considered as the best option at this point in time, but these players are extremely gifted and must have done something to prove their worth to get there in the first place. australia are building a team, and to do that you cant mix and match every couple of matches because one or two players aren't performing. teams cant gel if every player is doubting the safety of their place. it becomes a game to save themselves and a winning result is an afterthought. so what if there are up and coming young players who can't force their way in just yet, their time will come and until then they can only get better. what we need now is support for what we have. otherwise we'll be giving indian fans even more cannonfodder for their hyperbolic 'dominance'..

  • POSTED BY WilliamFranklin on | November 5, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    Oh please be true. Marcus North is not a test quality player let alone being captain.

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | November 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    If this rumour is true clearly someone wants North in the test team no matter whatW. They can't justify picking him for his batting or his little lolly popper spinners......so let's make him captain. But lets face it: Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field, can't captain. We just have to hope Uncle Claude (or whoever!) wakes up to this fact.

  • POSTED BY AussieForever on | November 5, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    I guess australia just need some good bowlers. it was really shocking to see aussies losing the first ODI this way. they should bring back brett lee and of course shaun tait can help australia in winning up-coming ashes and worldcup.

  • POSTED BY Proteas123 on | November 5, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    @ wagon_wheel - India lost in Aus 2-1 and did not draw. India have in effect won away in England and Drawn in Sri. As an away record for a so called number 1 team, that is pathetic. And if you now raise that you won in Bang, NZ and WI you will be making a very clear point that the number one rank is comletely flawed. The reality is that the top 5 teams are pretty even, with all being favourites at home and SA being the most dangerous oposition.

  • POSTED BY on | November 8, 2010, 13:39 GMT

    Australian slide started when Harbhajan ended symonds' career and ACB was intimated by Indian board and sided with them rather than their own players. Shame on ACB for finishing Australian cricket!

  • POSTED BY theswami on | November 7, 2010, 2:21 GMT

    Hussey should be captain till he retires ....... Pup is still Pup, not yet a fully-grown bulldog (will he ever be ?) ....... Shane Watson should become the new captain-in-waiting ...

  • POSTED BY on | November 5, 2010, 21:47 GMT

    @chiefy...I agree that these guys in the team are so much better than us commenters here and we should support them, its just that how can you support old guys who keep underperforming when there are so many young batsmen waiting in domestic cricket? If we were having these losses with young players looking to find their feet at international level it would be easier to deal with, because clearly they are rebuilding. The selectors throw some young guys in, but then they're out in the the next match or series, so we fans have no idea what the heck is going on with the team. Ferguson is a clear example of that - in the squad for a year, gets injured, goes to India with the Aussies, scores runs at home and then doesn't get picked in the home series squads. Which makes it baffling that the consistently underperforming and aged middle order can't get dropped. Oh and how can you leave Doherty out of a team after 4 wickets and a run out?

  • POSTED BY Kar_cric_fan on | November 5, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Australia are in a transitional phase at the moment and their people are quite frustrated that its taking an awful long time. Media- both local and international are having a field day by creating unnecessary stories about the team.

    And people talking about India - get a life, dont drag india into all the articles publiished by CricInfo. This is an article about Marcus North for crying out loud!!

  • POSTED BY Worst11 on | November 5, 2010, 13:26 GMT

    I dont know whats funny - Reading about North as a captain or reading about unrelated india-pak comments.

  • POSTED BY chiefy14 on | November 5, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Rather than sit around, speculate and criticise what is going on for our test team, as a country we should show our support for our players. sure, there are some people who might not be considered as the best option at this point in time, but these players are extremely gifted and must have done something to prove their worth to get there in the first place. australia are building a team, and to do that you cant mix and match every couple of matches because one or two players aren't performing. teams cant gel if every player is doubting the safety of their place. it becomes a game to save themselves and a winning result is an afterthought. so what if there are up and coming young players who can't force their way in just yet, their time will come and until then they can only get better. what we need now is support for what we have. otherwise we'll be giving indian fans even more cannonfodder for their hyperbolic 'dominance'..

  • POSTED BY WilliamFranklin on | November 5, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    Oh please be true. Marcus North is not a test quality player let alone being captain.

  • POSTED BY Okakaboka on | November 5, 2010, 9:37 GMT

    If this rumour is true clearly someone wants North in the test team no matter whatW. They can't justify picking him for his batting or his little lolly popper spinners......so let's make him captain. But lets face it: Can't bat, can't bowl, can't field, can't captain. We just have to hope Uncle Claude (or whoever!) wakes up to this fact.

  • POSTED BY AussieForever on | November 5, 2010, 8:38 GMT

    I guess australia just need some good bowlers. it was really shocking to see aussies losing the first ODI this way. they should bring back brett lee and of course shaun tait can help australia in winning up-coming ashes and worldcup.

  • POSTED BY Proteas123 on | November 5, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    @ wagon_wheel - India lost in Aus 2-1 and did not draw. India have in effect won away in England and Drawn in Sri. As an away record for a so called number 1 team, that is pathetic. And if you now raise that you won in Bang, NZ and WI you will be making a very clear point that the number one rank is comletely flawed. The reality is that the top 5 teams are pretty even, with all being favourites at home and SA being the most dangerous oposition.

  • POSTED BY AustraliaInventedCricket on | November 5, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    2011 will see Australia with a new look team with the retirements of Ponting, Hussey and Katich, thus opening the door for new leadership. At the moment, Australia's future capt/vice capt are yet to establish themselves in the side, they are Cameron White & Steve Smith. White would make a quality test captain with Smith (a developing Warne-like quality) as his deputy.

  • POSTED BY balajik1968 on | November 5, 2010, 5:54 GMT

    This is funny. North is not an automatic selection, and people talk of him becoming captain. Whatever you may say about Ponting, he is Australia's best batsman by a long shot.

  • POSTED BY 26raghu on | November 5, 2010, 5:52 GMT

    @ ShahzanHaiderBukhari .. I completely disagree with your comments and it seems u dont watch Test cricket at all . India have played 55 Test matches in last 5 years and have won more than 25 matches and have drawn 20 matches and lost 10 matches .. That includes SA Tour , AUS , SRI Tour and ENG Tour .. check Aus and other countries record for the same period .. that will show that INDIA is the Best Test team in the world. If the asian pitches are flat by your views why other teams are not able to win in INDIA ?? India prepare Spin friendly tracks and other countries prefer Seamer friendly tracks thats the difference and u saw hauritz struggling to get a wicket in spin track in INDIA . So stop speculating abt India 's top position in Test Cricket . We deserve it !!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 5, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    Question...this is an article about North being Test captain, so why is there talk about the Indian cricket team? There's plenty of other articles to comment on on Cricinfo, especially about India, so if you have something to say about the Indian team go there and say it. As for North being Test captain, I laughed. And then I stopped to catch a breath, and then laughed some more. Seems like a desperate attempt at explaining our poor form for the last few matches. I can imagine the journos sitting around a table and one of the stands up and says "Oh yeah, lets say there's a riff in the team and that the worst batsman in the test lineup is going to be the next captain, that will show why we've been playing so badly"

  • POSTED BY on | November 5, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    ...Is this article some kind of joke? North the test captain? Please no...

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | November 5, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    It is amusing to read India Pakistan needling come up even in a matter which has nothing to do with either of the two sides. It is not unlikely that people from Pakistan are unhappy tha India have been at the No 1 position for sometime now. But then that is probably because of the way they have been playing for the last 6 years, not just over a couple of years of playing series' at home.In fact what Pc Dad has said is spot on. India has been playing well abroad after Saurav Ganguly took over as captain after Sachin stepped down.Pakistan on the other hand have a wonderful pace bowling attack but very little else. Their batting and fielding are not international class. Add to this their being caught up in match fixing, ball tampering and ball chewing in public and you have the image of Pakistan cricket today as seen by every one in the world. The terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team is what the world will remember about Pakistan cricket unless things there change in every way.

  • POSTED BY on | November 5, 2010, 4:23 GMT

    Well....those questioning India's ranking....lets take a look at the performances of second best team: SA 1. Drew home series against England 2. Lost home series to AUS 3. Lost last series they played in SL 4. Drew away series against India

    They've had their share of away series wins as well: 1. Aus 2. England

    But the overall results above don't necessarily make them a number one team!

    And other teams are not in contention at all....Aus is in dire straits.... SL is yet to win a series in NZ and WI and yeah...SL is yet to even win a test in Aus, SA, India...

    England are catching on....but again....they are not at their best in away games!!

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | November 5, 2010, 4:16 GMT

    I do not know why there is discussion about India in an article dealing with Australia's lack of success. Australia have been hit in recent years by umpires not longer siding with them at all crucial points in a match. Chanderpaul was once quoted as saying that any team could beat the Australians if the umpires did not rule all debatable decisions in their favour. This was a comment when Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Hayden etc were all playing. Australia is just being where it belongs when you have umpires making genuine mistakes rather than supporting the Aussies. Ponting continues to be the beneficiary of umpring errors. In 2010, I have not seen Ponting make a single half century without his being plumb LBW atleast once. If Australia are to seriously become a world beating team, they need to focus on playing fair cricket rather than creating off field conterversies and buying out umpires.

  • POSTED BY Gulshan_Grover on | November 5, 2010, 3:52 GMT

    @ShahzanHaiderBukhari, its you or your frustration speaking? India is number 1 based on its performance in SA, Australia and NZ as away matches are scored prominently in the rankings. Yes do check the records and you would know.

  • POSTED BY PcDadda on | November 5, 2010, 3:44 GMT

    @ShahzanHaiderBukhari & Raja Subhan Khan: Either you have not been following cricket in the past 3-4 years or are simply shooting in the dark. Since 2004 India has won away series in England, New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan among the top 8 test playing nations. In case you were not aware- India's win-loss ratio abroad is more than 1. India have won test matches IN ALL test playing nations since 2004. Quit moaning about India being poor travellers - that is a myth of the past.

  • POSTED BY deanc on | November 5, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    I find it hard to believe that some people don't understand that this topic is from the fantasy mind of an irresponsible journalist with little credibility. As is now that case some Australian seniors players 'allegedly involved' have responded publicly with disbelief and specifically North, knowing the reality of his position in the team, is a little embarrassed by such a notion. I'll credit Jamie Panadaran with something the bloke has a great imagination, maybe he should write childrens books.

  • POSTED BY Rdprasad on | November 5, 2010, 3:12 GMT

    Clarke is a laugh....Pontings time is up ....who is next in line, aha Steven Smith, he is great and has many years ahead of him to captain....A young and inspiring player. Rambo

  • POSTED BY Puppster23 on | November 5, 2010, 2:42 GMT

    Jeez, I guess since the Aussies are going through a rough patch, the media thinks they can write pretty much anything, but seriously this is pathetic!! Any credibility the story could have had, goes the moment, they mention North as one of the captaincy candidates!!

  • POSTED BY spin_king4 on | November 5, 2010, 2:41 GMT

    you have to have a spot cemented in the top 11 to be captian and north doenst have that. saying that i dont think clarke is a very good captian or has the leadership skill to be captian. ricky has many years left in him, maybe by that time a good young prospect will come through

  • POSTED BY Saad_Parekh on | November 5, 2010, 2:38 GMT

    As for about this article, i guess Australia at current have no other captaincy option else than Clarke (Unless Shane Warne decides to come out of retirement :D). You're Captain should be a good enough player to secure his place in the line up on the basis of performance only. I agree Clarke didn't have the best of tours of India Clarke is probably the second best batsman in the line-up. You cant give captaincy to someone like North or Ferguson who are yet to cement their position in the playing XI. Only plausible alternative include Shane Watson or Brad Haddin. But again Watson doesn't have a fitness level to suggest that he can turn up on every game and handle the extra responsibility and as for Haddin, firstly he is older (well in to 30s) and is still 2 prove that he can resume his cricket from where he left before the injury.

  • POSTED BY Saad_Parekh on | November 5, 2010, 2:27 GMT

    @ShahzanHaiderBukhari and Raja Subhan Khan. You are missing a point. Winning a match on a dead pitch doesn't mean you're a less of a team. If you consider playing on a flat deck have given Indian batsman advantage, well the same track have given advantage to Australia and Srilanka ( Apparently Srilankan batting line up is more efficient on the dead pitches). The Indian pitches are not also that spin inducing as they were in say 1980s or 1990s. I guess SCG provides more opportunity for spinner than any of Indian track a.t.m. I agree with you're comment if India could win on the foreign decks but remember India have won against England in England and New Zealand in New Zealand on their last tours. Regardless of everything next year will decide if India has got what it takes to remain at the pole, with SA being their biggest challenge.

  • POSTED BY rienzied on | November 5, 2010, 2:18 GMT

    Test cricket basically is won especially if you have a great bowling attack. Sadly Australia seem to be sadly missing this end of the stick, especially without a quality spinner. Sadly when it comes to selections, they seem to be clueless as to what type of spinner is needed. Hauritz is alike an oversued , really predicatble drifter (not even a spinner). Doherty and Krezja are good spinners. Any spinner that takes 14 wickets against a rampaging Indian batting line in India, should always be considered. Smith is to jerky and doesnt turn it enough. To be a spinner you must be able to SPIN the ball. Until Pointing and the leadership group accept this then we will see a difference. Another thing, when you are playing against a team FULL of right hand batsmen, as Australia were doing v India, why play a right arm off spinner? Just left us so bemused.

  • POSTED BY Runster1 on | November 5, 2010, 1:36 GMT

    @COMPLAINING AUSSIES Those who are complaining that india are No.1 are sore losers! Go and cry somewhere else. We never complained when u were number 1. We just complained u had umpies were on your side. You team is a disgrace. Their bowling line up against sri lanka and was PATHETIC! It was AUSTRALIA that always hung on to win matches! No its somebody else's turn, alright! YOu guys I hope will lose the ashes because of your arrogance and disrespect. Respect india are No.1. I do believe you guys shud be above no.5, but you are definitely not in the top 2 teams in the world. India and South Africa are the champions of test cricket. Australia are even now losing their grip in their ODI rankings!! White blasts india's B team bowlers and suddenly their bowlers get smashed by our B team batsmen (kohli). And with relevance to this article, North shud be lucky he is even in the team. PUP all the way!!!

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 5, 2010, 1:23 GMT

    At peoples banging on about India being #1 Test side in the world, there is a few factors to consider. In alot of peoples eyes, India's current position is a bit like a Boxer who has claimed a belt with an unheard of Title - instead of WBC it's XYZ! What India need to do is build up a resume to be considered the best otherwise it is open to just being a quirk of Tour programming. It is pretty undisputed that Oz has lost it's #1 Crown, in being deposed, there is currently a void. Sri Lanka (good on them for sticking it to us in the T20 & ODI just played), were 1 Test win away from claiming the spot against India. Not many people would agree that they are the best in the world (it would be a good thing for World Cricket as was the 1995 World Cup win). For mine, it is Sth Africa, although if India at least draw the upcoming series with them, I would feel alot more content about India's ranking, an Indian series win would shut my mouth (for a while!).

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 5, 2010, 1:16 GMT

    @kzia - agreed. Clarke is not a bad captain. I think it is a joke anybody considered North to be the Test captain, must of been a West Australian! North is not likely to play Test cricket again after this Ashes series. @Matthew Kneale - agreed. Oz struggled after 3 players retired in the early 1980s (+some Rebel Tour exclusions). Oz have the talent, they just to work out how to maximise it & finish off a match. @givemefood - Clarke record is statistically very good. I think he is probably more intuiitive then Punter. Clarke does need to make sure his consistancy is held at a higher level then currently. @Wolver - correct. I don't know how far India will fall given their propensity not to tour much! @Raja Subhan Khan - correct, at this stage we won't be crashing like the end of the Windies dynasty - well I hop we won't - LOL! @wagon_wheel - Point of order India lost the Test series in OZ 2-1. @spun_thru-thg8 - 2 things LOL 1) Non playing captain & very cool name! @Redneck -agree

  • POSTED BY Racyrao on | November 5, 2010, 0:53 GMT

    I like it how Aussies are wilting under media pressure. Aus was a great team a few years ago, not anymore. Regarding some of the comments around India is number one team because we win only at home - Why dosen't Australia win matches at home? The last time they won a legitimate test match against India was the boxing day test match in 2007. We all know what happened in Sydney and the 4 day thrashing that they got in Perth - which was supposed to be India's nemesis. They were inconsistent against Pakistan and their recent Sydney win is clouded by match fixing controversies. They have lost to 5 consecutive tests wth India, and if beating the English is the only way to become number one then way to go Aussies. They will end up beating the Poms and consider themselves as the best despite getting thrashed by India and Sri Lanka. Given Aussies recent performances, even Bangladesh wants to play against Australia as they fancy a series win.

  • POSTED BY AustraliaInventedCricket on | November 5, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    I must disagree with you ShahzanHaiderBukhari. As much as I dislike seeing India at the top of the test ladder, they do deserve the title of best cricketing nation. The way the points system is designed, more points are awarded to a country winning away from home, then a home nation winning at home, over a 3 year period, thus making the best team under all conditions as the best. If India just played tests in India through an entire calendar year, it would not mathematically be possible for them to earn the number 1 world ranking.

  • POSTED BY Nujee on | November 5, 2010, 0:02 GMT

    @raja khan and shahzanhaider- u guys can cry all u want......we r no.1 cause we deserve it....ure names suggest a hint as to where u are from and so the sentiment is understandable........

  • POSTED BY phonyphun on | November 4, 2010, 23:42 GMT

    @ShahzanHaiderBukhari, funny that you all bring India into every conversation. Since you do, why is it important that pitches only have to be a certain kind to be considered competitive. Each country prepares the pitches to match their strength. The idea of home advantage is in every sport. There is less logic and more emotion in your commentary.

    To the topic at hand, the Aussies are on a decline compared to their glorious recent past and everyone is itching to rub it in. Gamesmanship is more fun than sportsmanship. Keep it up guys.

  • POSTED BY redneck on | November 4, 2010, 22:40 GMT

    a captain has to be in the best XI, norths on borrowed time as it is! the rest of the world can keep writting us off but its not like were getting smashed off the park! 3 wicket loss to pakistan when they had their full strength bowlers (not what south africa are facing now), a 1 wicket loss to sri lanka, a 1 wicket loss to india. i actually think australia showed improvement on the indian tour compaired to the one we had in 08, our bowling looked better thats for sure! i dont blaime the rest of the cricket world for wanting to sink the boot in, god knows how long they have had to wait to do that! but form is only one good game away, and i really think with punter back that could be today in sydney!

  • POSTED BY ShahzanHaiderBukhari on | November 4, 2010, 22:36 GMT

    @Raja Subhan Khan!!! I totally agree with you.It seems to me a big joke being India no.1 in tests. Rather it should be ranked no.1 on Asian dead pitches. To win a match against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Australia on dead pitches shouldn't make anyone no.1 . India has very poor record abroad. Plz go through the statistics. Booyakasha!!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 22:33 GMT

    I think that given the transition the Australian team is going through that Pontings successor probably needs to be an Allan Border style "Captain Grumpy". I don't know if any of the current players or leadership contenders fit that mould. They all seem fit and dedicated athletes, no questioning their commitment on that level. I just can't imagine Michael Clarke putting a rocket up the underperforming team's arse the way AB used to.

  • POSTED BY spun_thru-thg8 on | November 4, 2010, 21:52 GMT

    Maybe the author of this latest piece of fantasy is confusing the Australian cricket team with the Davis Cup Tennis squad(featuring Pat rafter as a non-playing captain). Lets face it that will be Norths role if he doesnt score runs consistently this Summer, his ton in India ought to have gained him some breathing space but not for long. Ironically the three players named in this drama are the three batsman who most need to put their heads down and make runs this Summer as of late they are more often than not 3 easy scalps for opposition bowlers at test level. First and foremost they are in the side to bat and if that doesnt work they can pursue their captaincy ambitions at state level. Currently we have a captain that is justifying his place in the test batting line-up ahead of these playes the most pressing issue ought to be the strength of the middle order ot support him and the openers. If not the current line-up bring on Ferguson, Smith, Klinger or Khawaja.

  • POSTED BY chappelis_last_blast on | November 4, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    I hope this one gets thru cricinfo! - If North is an option then Australia is really stuffed! He can barely hold is own spot in the side. Their are doubts over Michael Clarke though. Leave Ponting with it, I think. Hopfully this will be the Aussie side in 18 months in Tests- Hughes,Watson,Ponting (c), Ferguson,Khalwja,Clarke,Paine,M Marsh,Johnson,Doherty,George.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 20:44 GMT

    Aussie cricket is done with its glorious days.... it would be in the same state of WI cricket.... THEY WANNA LIVE ONLY IN THE PAST!!

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Now punter can understand what T'dulkar went thru....when T'dulkar use to captain a team that contained players like...Devashish Gandhi, Noel David, Abey Kuruwilla, Paras Mhambrey....BVK Prasad....!

  • POSTED BY La_Bangla on | November 4, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    Too funny and another bang from the incompetent Aussie media. I always felt Australia's success over the last decade wasn't just based on the shear talent. It had lot to do with their out of control sledging. They were bullying literally. I am glad ICC has come down hard on it and brought some respectability to the Gentlemen's Game. Also good to see the other teams are keeping up with mellowed Aussies on controlled aggression. I can foresee Australia never having the same success in future as they did over the last decade

  • POSTED BY true_cricket_fan on | November 4, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Go hindh88.. I agree with you completely!

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 18:56 GMT

    @Raja Khan Don't be so naive. India won in New Zealand in 2008-09 1-0. India is currently no.1 Test team because they are playing like a champion team in test matches. By the way, Aus only managed to win 1 series in India in 2004-05 thanks to Shashank manohar who intentionally prepared Green top wicket in Nagpur to punish Ganguly.Australia's last series win against India in India was in 1969-70. Nobody moaned about Aussie's inability to play on flat Indian pitches then(!).

    As far as this topic is concerned,Clarke is simply not good enough to lead a side which is trying desperately to recover it's lost glory. He looks like a boy scout. Ponting is a far better choice. Apart from Ponting,Hussey and Watson, rest of the batsmen are failing continuously. Doherty bowled well the other day,and he has talent and variations. Australian selectors must play him regularly to grow him as a bowler.Aussies desperate need a good spinner if they wanna perform well in the World cup.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 18:40 GMT

    Aussie was a great team, its now one of the good team. I think Shane Watson should be made vice captain. His persona and work ethic reminds me of Imran.

  • POSTED BY arunkumar_s6 on | November 4, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    Hello Raja Subhan Khan... i think u must be a hater of Indian team. That's why you are speaking like that. Every team is a dominant team when it comes to home series. Australia are a dominant side in their home so as South Africa, England, Sri Lanka. the reason India are number 1 is that they have won more tests both in home and away. Won tests in West Indies, Australia, New Zealand. Did you forgot that or what? They've won against New Zealand in New Zealand, West Indies in West Indies, drawn series against Sri Lanka and won the last two test series against Australia in India with 2-0... If its a flat pitch, then both teams have to play well. Why India is playing well and not other teams??? This is such a unacceptable reason to tell....

  • POSTED BY wagon_wheel on | November 4, 2010, 17:25 GMT

    @Raja Subhan Khan I guess you do not follow cricket that much or else take pride in passing loose statements. Coming to your statement regarding India's performance since 2007, India has won the test series in England 1-0, drew test series in Australia, won test series in Bangladesh 2-0, (in case you consider Bangladesh an above average test side), drew test series in Sri Lanka and won in New Zealand 1-0. India may not have won the test series in South Africa, but they did win a test match. In the same time period, they defeated Australia comprehensively twice, tied test series with SA twice, defeated England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan comprehensively at home. Now these are some of the top test teams. I think neither you nor tons of other brainless India bashers would want to agree about India's test supremacy however compelling the evidence. At present only SA can be considered a close competition to India for they have also been performing consistently all over the world.

  • POSTED BY Ozcricketwriter on | November 4, 2010, 17:14 GMT

    Ha ha ha ha ha. North, the most unpopular fellow in the side, the guy who most want to go from the test side, which is the only side he is in, and doesn't deserve to be in, this is the guy who they say we want as test captain? LOLOLOL. Sorry but no. Cameron White or perhaps Brad Haddin would be the alternatives as test captain, not North.

  • POSTED BY La_Bangla on | November 4, 2010, 16:53 GMT

    Too funny and another bang from the incompetent Aussie media. I always felt Australia's success over the last decade wasn't just based on the shear talent. It had lot to do with their out of control sledging. They were bullying literally. I am glad ICC has come down hard on it and brought some respectability to the Gentlemen's Game. Also good to see the other teams are keeping up with mellowed Aussies on controlled aggression. I can foresee Australia never having the same success in future as they did over the last decade..

  • POSTED BY La_Bangla on | November 4, 2010, 16:51 GMT

    Too funny and another bang from the incompetent Aussie media. I always felt Australia's success over the last decade wasn't just based on the shear talent. It had lot to do with their out of control sledging. They were bullying literally. I am glad ICC has come down hard on it and brought some respectability to the Gentlemen's Game. Also good to see the other team is keeping up with mellowed Aussies on controlled aggression. I can foresee Australia never having the same success in future as they did over the last decade.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 16:30 GMT

    North for captaincy ???????????? how could anybody spread that rumour expecting it to be believed?

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 16:10 GMT

    Australian Side is still World # 1 in ODI,,, we should give a time to Punter till World Cup ,,, one more thing i want to add is that the Indian side has a good record in their home not in the other countries,,,not even a single series they have won in any other country since 2007.... so i dont think so the flat pitched players can be considered as number one side,,,, but on the other hand we have South Africa and England,both of the sides have a fine away record,,,, India should play against South Africa or England as a away series.... not flat pitched home series. cheers

  • POSTED BY PATHANIAS on | November 4, 2010, 15:56 GMT

    It has absolutely nothing to do with syd test mate. The thing is downfall. Everyone is scanning the downfall and trying various speculations. It happens with every team or a sportsman, when there is a slump. Anyhow best of luck kangaroos.

  • POSTED BY ram5160 on | November 4, 2010, 15:35 GMT

    Don't know why the Aussie media is panicking like this. Even the Indian media seems sane by comparision. And I sick and tired of hearing of McGrath and co. Its only an unfair burden on these players by mentioning and comparing them in every other sentence. From a distance I can't help feeling that the recent Australian selection policy of the picking older players is coming in the way of true rebuilding.

  • POSTED BY pinn on | November 4, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Might be Warner will be the next captain for one-day side ! May be in the next one-day itself ! Will it be good for Australia ? Yes of course , at least hez better than Clarke as a opener. Com'on Australia ! Itz better to shut the mouth and concentrate on own game , than criticizing others now.

  • POSTED BY Stewieee on | November 4, 2010, 14:41 GMT

    Ohh.. Looks like, AUS is getting a taste of their own medicine. Am wondering, how many rifts would have been created by the psychological sledging by Clarke and Ponting, when they were rolling..

  • POSTED BY Proteas123 on | November 4, 2010, 14:38 GMT

    North is not an option at this stage. Maybe if he becomes settled and secure in the team. @hindh88 - That is ridiculous. Aus slide started when a very good SA team beat them in Aus. India were not good enough to win in Aus. You'll probably have one more chance before Laxman, Dravid and Sachin retire, after that India will be a very ordinary team. SA were robbed at Adelaide in 1998 and Saffers don't keep going on over spilt milk. If either team had been out right better than Aus they would have won those games.

  • POSTED BY 0wais on | November 4, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Well Well Well........ What is going on here in Australia??? This type of politics is really strange in the build up to the ashes, i don't know whether it is true or not but it would be interesting that who is behind all this!!!!

  • POSTED BY Riderstorm on | November 4, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    The funniest rumor i've heard in the recent times. Seriously, North who is wriggling in tests to keep his test place and him for captaincy..hilarious.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    Why would you consider someone as captain who has been in and out of the side since their debut?

  • POSTED BY dabidoo on | November 4, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Australia declined because they lost their best 2 bowlers, a number of experienced batsman and the best batsman-keeper the world has ever seen.

    Arrogance has nothing to do with it

  • POSTED BY givemefood on | November 4, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Doesn't matter what the rumor is. But here's the fact - Michael Clarke has time and again proven that he cannot lead a team for Victory. The 1st ODI loss to SL was as bad as saying AUSSIES played bookies' favorite game.

    Don't matter who the next captain is.. it certainly shouldn't be Michael Clarke.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | November 4, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    As much as I like Marcus North I can't see how there could be any serious talk of him being the next test captain while his position is still in question. This is surely a media fantasy isn't it? @hindh88-Mate, what's done is done. Try to move on. It is, after all, only a game.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    And I have a sneaking suspicion the Australia slide had something to do with Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne, Symonds, Hayden, Lee, Martyn and Langer all retiring and Australia's inability to replace them effectively rather than some curse.

    But hey, thats just me.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    How the mighty have fallen!! Not so long ago everybody thought Aussies were invincible. They were never invincible but unfortunately most of their opponents bought the invincibility hype. McGrath and Warne were great but certainly not unbreakable.

  • POSTED BY kzia on | November 4, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Why people start worrying after couple of bad matches. I never thought that Ponting is brilliant captain but he had some outstanding players in last decade and it was easy to captain that team as everyone knew their role. Now Australia is also an average or good team like all other teams and Captain needs to make some timely decisions to win difficult matches. I think they should stick to Michael Clark as the next captain and groom him as he is the permanent memeber of the squad and who knows any match could be the last match of North as he is just an average player who took the advantage of Simon's conflicts.

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 4, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    The curse of SCg test of 2008 has struck aus . The arrogance they showed in that match vs india has come back to haunt them. The Aus slide started from that Match .

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  • POSTED BY Hindh on | November 4, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    The curse of SCg test of 2008 has struck aus . The arrogance they showed in that match vs india has come back to haunt them. The Aus slide started from that Match .

  • POSTED BY kzia on | November 4, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Why people start worrying after couple of bad matches. I never thought that Ponting is brilliant captain but he had some outstanding players in last decade and it was easy to captain that team as everyone knew their role. Now Australia is also an average or good team like all other teams and Captain needs to make some timely decisions to win difficult matches. I think they should stick to Michael Clark as the next captain and groom him as he is the permanent memeber of the squad and who knows any match could be the last match of North as he is just an average player who took the advantage of Simon's conflicts.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:20 GMT

    How the mighty have fallen!! Not so long ago everybody thought Aussies were invincible. They were never invincible but unfortunately most of their opponents bought the invincibility hype. McGrath and Warne were great but certainly not unbreakable.

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:22 GMT

    And I have a sneaking suspicion the Australia slide had something to do with Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne, Symonds, Hayden, Lee, Martyn and Langer all retiring and Australia's inability to replace them effectively rather than some curse.

    But hey, thats just me.

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | November 4, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    As much as I like Marcus North I can't see how there could be any serious talk of him being the next test captain while his position is still in question. This is surely a media fantasy isn't it? @hindh88-Mate, what's done is done. Try to move on. It is, after all, only a game.

  • POSTED BY givemefood on | November 4, 2010, 13:40 GMT

    Doesn't matter what the rumor is. But here's the fact - Michael Clarke has time and again proven that he cannot lead a team for Victory. The 1st ODI loss to SL was as bad as saying AUSSIES played bookies' favorite game.

    Don't matter who the next captain is.. it certainly shouldn't be Michael Clarke.

  • POSTED BY dabidoo on | November 4, 2010, 13:53 GMT

    Australia declined because they lost their best 2 bowlers, a number of experienced batsman and the best batsman-keeper the world has ever seen.

    Arrogance has nothing to do with it

  • POSTED BY on | November 4, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    Why would you consider someone as captain who has been in and out of the side since their debut?

  • POSTED BY Riderstorm on | November 4, 2010, 14:09 GMT

    The funniest rumor i've heard in the recent times. Seriously, North who is wriggling in tests to keep his test place and him for captaincy..hilarious.

  • POSTED BY 0wais on | November 4, 2010, 14:16 GMT

    Well Well Well........ What is going on here in Australia??? This type of politics is really strange in the build up to the ashes, i don't know whether it is true or not but it would be interesting that who is behind all this!!!!