Australia news

Warne attacks Ponting, Cook

Daniel Brettig

November 4, 2013

Comments: 188 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting watch the runs flow, Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, 2nd day, Perth, December 1, 2012
Shane Warne has suggested that Ricky Ponting's written critique of Michael Clarke in his autobiography was the result of bitterness © Getty Images

Shane Warne has accused Ricky Ponting of being motivated by "jealousy" in criticising his Australian captaincy successor Michael Clarke, while also asserting that Alastair Cook will risk losing the Ashes for England should he continue to lead in a "negative" manner.

In a typically showstopping stream of opinions ahead of Australia's return bout with England, Warne leapt to the defence of his "best friend" Clarke, arguing that Ponting's written critique of the incumbent leader in his autobiography was the result of bitterness. He also said Ponting's actions did not compare favourably with those of Allan Border and Mark Taylor, the "two best captains" the former legspinner played under.

"I know he beats himself up mercilessly about being the only Australian captain ever to lose three Ashes," Warne said in a press conference call with English media for the Ashes broadcaster Sky Sports. "And I know Ricky made that horrific decision to put England in at Edgbaston in 2005. I don't want to be mean about Ricky - he's a good guy and he tried to do the best he could.

"But to bring up the stuff about Pup [Clarke] - maybe there was a bit of jealousy, because Pup was batting so well and Ricky was not making any runs. To me, Michael's very well respected. The best captains keep stuff in the dressing room. No-one ever finds out about it. That's what good leaders are about. So to hear all this in a book is pretty ordinary."

Cook's leadership of England has thus far been characterised by a close relationship with the coach Andy Flower and a calm guiding hand rather than any great invention in the field. England's preferred approach is of a more conservative nature than that of Clarke and the Australian coach Darren Lehmann.

"If Michael Clarke did the same things, I'd say he was negative, but he's not. That's not the way he captains," Warne said. "Cook can be negative, boring, not very imaginative - and still win and be pretty happy. But I think he needs to be more imaginative. If Australia play well and he continues to captain the way he does, I think England are going to lose the series.

"I don't think he can captain like that - and I'm not working in any capacity whatsoever for Cricket Australia. Darren Lehmann is a good mate of mine, and Michael Clarke is my best friend, of course I speak to them a lot but I call it as I see it. And I'm not the only one who thinks Alastair Cook is a negative captain.

"He lets the game drift. He waits for the game to come to him. I don't think he can captain the side like that. For me, Michael Clarke is the best captain in the world at the moment. He just has a lot of imagination. Cook would never have a leg slip, bat-pad and leg gully, like Clarke did for Jonathan Trott in the summer."

To round off his serve, Warne said England would do well not to play Joe Root at the top of the order during the series, suggesting the young Yorkshireman would be "crucified" facing the new ball on Australian pitches. Warne preferred to see Michael Carberry as Cook's opening partner, with Joe Root to bat at No. 6 instead of Jonny Bairstow.

"I don't think Root's an opener because of his technique. Australia found him out in England, and in Australian conditions they'll find him out more. You can't get stuck on the crease in Australia because of the pace of the wickets.

"It could be crucifying him if he has got to face Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson on some fast, bouncy pitches. I think he's just going to nick off a lot. Besides Lord's, where he got 180, Australia really did have his number."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by ScottStevo on (November 6, 2013, 20:41 GMT)

@maximum6, no, not at all. In fact, 3-0 was a massively flattering scoreline, yet Eng were more than rightfully the victorious side, although I don't think they played anywhere near that much better than Aus the resultant score would suggest.

@JG2704, I'm sure you've seen loads of posts from me remarking about Aus shortcomings. The unfortunate truth, however, is exactly that - Eng have played avg test cricket and yet it's still been good enough to beat Aus; and comfortably at times. I'm hoping this series is a stop to that ;)

Posted by JG2704 on (November 6, 2013, 13:04 GMT)

@ScottStevo on (November 5, 2013, 19:26 GMT) I don't think anyone (other than the obvious 1 or 2) is pretending Eng are the best. They are currently the best of a group who are a way behind SA but whose negative , average cricket has still been good enough to beat their 2 nearest rivals in the last 12 months. Yes some fans give complacency excuses for poor performances while others give other excuses - umpiring decisions , bad luck blah , blah , blah , while few admit their own team's shortcomings. And yes Eng have plenty of shortcomings but they have still beaten their 2 nearest rivals for the number 2 spot a combined 5 series in a row so I guess the sides below have even more shortcomings?

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (November 6, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

I find nothing wrong in what has Warne has said. The main points that he has made are all valid. 1. Cook IS definitely a negative captain with a very defensive mindset and the only reason he's on a great winning streak is because of the number of match winning bowlers and batsmen in his side vis a vis competition. 2. It IS in bad form for a captain to criticize his successor who was also the Vice Captain under him. 3. Clarke IS indeed more imaginative and definitely not risk averse to enforce a result. That's good captaincy. That said, it must also be pointed out to all those who think that Ricky was a great captain, that Ricky had a great set of matchwinning bowlers and batsmen just as Cook has now, which enabled him to not only dominate sides but also score freely without the added tension and burden that a struggling team puts on a captain. So, Ricky was no better than Cook is now. Ricky crumbled as a captain and player when he got a team stripped off its greats, so will Cook!

Posted by OneEyedAussie on (November 6, 2013, 3:55 GMT)

This is getting rather sad now. Shane Warne loves the limelight. Ponting still believes he should be captain of the Australian cricket team. And no one really likes Michael Clarke.

Posted by   on (November 6, 2013, 3:47 GMT)

usually the players and ex players (both sides) play the pre Ashes war games but usually they are targeting the other side :) ie - Warne - last visit to Oz by England - 'Trott and KP will fail, Swann wont get many wkts and by targeting Cook Oz will break the back of England ..... Merv - Anderson cant bowl in Oz Last time in Eng - loads of Oz people talking about Clarke and Watson destroying the England attack, about Oz attack being the best in the world... That seems pretty ok but slagging off your own team :)

Posted by paapam on (November 6, 2013, 2:01 GMT)

I am sorry Shane, Ponting has no reason to be jealous of any living cricketer. He is the greatest Aussie batter after the don and has a decent record as captain. Clarke may be imaginative on the field but lacks the ability to 'read' the more difficult members of his team, allay their fears and make them feel respected. His personal vanity and self absorbtion are neither signs of a great leader nor a good human being. Muralitharan not withstanding Warne is the greatest ever spinner in test history and the best captain Australia did not have. I am disappointed that he is ending up as a proxy for Clarke.

Posted by Johnny_129 on (November 5, 2013, 21:12 GMT)

The harsh exchanges between former players goes to show how far Australian cricket has fallen. Historically, Australia has been at the top of cricket at most times even though WI were the best team ever. However, those days are gone and now Aus is fighting to stay off bottom place! Former players wrangling openly, like this, does not help. I would much rather see Warne and Ponting getting together and discussing ways to improve the current performance and then speaking out.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 5, 2013, 20:52 GMT)

@ ScottSStevo. Wasn't 3-0 a large enlough margin to suggest that we did actually play a rather better game than your lot? I think so.Please ,the numbers say it all as ever. We WON,You Lo9st. Live with it,mate!!!

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 5, 2013, 19:38 GMT)

@Joseph Langford, then who is your XI that are so much better (because they're not from NSW!)??? You complain a lot about players being from NSW yet give no alternatives. Who would you have as captain of the national side if not Clarke if you say he's so poor? I'd love to know as I've not seen anyone even close to contention in captaining the side at present other than Clarke...

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 5, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

@maximum6, maybe if the night before Cook hadn't been playing his cynical tactics, it would never got that far. Just be thankful that Clarke declared in the first place and made something of a spectacle of that test match. I can assure you, roles reversed Cook wouldn't have been playing for the win, he'd have batted on. Didn't see Cook throw the ball to his spinners when he had the chance that evening when it was ridiculously dark and wickets were up for grabs. Nor complain at the amount of times Broad and co were on their haunches having to tie their laces every other delivery. Short memory, pal. As for us talking it up, you must be joking? Same as England playing a good game - kidding right? 2rpo is a good game to you? Eng have played avg test cricket barring one series in India for almost 2 years and blame complacency...You may be eeking the results for now, but playing that brand of cricket won't gain you too many successes, nor admirers. The way u guys talk you'd think u were no1!

Posted by JG2704 on (November 5, 2013, 18:53 GMT)

@Joseph Langford on (November 5, 2013, 17:22 GMT) Fair enough. I don't follow Aus domestic cricket so I'm just speaking from what I've seen re him as Aus captain. Re that SA series - you're right in that he contributed nothing as a player in that 2nd test but they did still win it under his captaincy and he has by and large performed very well as a player with the bat since becoming captain

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@ JG2704 .... your argument for Clarke in the 2nd Test against SA would have more weight if he scored more than 20-runs in that Test Match. Remember that this game was during an extended period when Clarke was averaging around 25.

People will always debate on who could have been the best team but I think that, when State Teams repetitively defeat a NSW Team that is led by the Australian Cricket Captain and is full of players that are either Test Players, ex-Test Players or players that we are continually told are on the cusp of playing for Australia, it is quite evident that there are better players, leaders and tacticians in Australia than those selected to play in the Australian Team. In all honesty how could these 'leaderless' teams full of unknows defeat a team that is supposably that strong. Would you not think that NSW, with players of such renown and led by such an able Captain, defeat other state teams by 8-wickets or 200-runs .... If not an innings??

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 5, 2013, 16:35 GMT)

I think we saw the real Clarke as captain at the Oval in his cynical ploys at the end when England could have easily won except for his pathetic time wasting ploys which belied all the hype surroun ding his 'great' taqctical skills. This generatio0n of Australians talk a very good game. England play a very good game and that is the difference. Keep talking please, Aussies. It's a real laugh to listen to it! I do not really see Australia doing any better in the playing department.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 5, 2013, 16:29 GMT)

I remeber in 2005 being told by a friend who lives in Australia that most Australians pitied Warne notwithstanding his bowling. I could not get it. I do now. Is there any connection between the mouth and a brain?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 5, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

@Joseph Langford on (November 5, 2013, 11:00 GMT) My point was - re SA in the drawn series - was that Aus under Clarke came back from a 1st test pummelling to win the 2nd test to level the series. If Clarke is somewhat responsible (as a captain) for bad defeats etc which you mentioned earlier then surely he is equally responsible for good results/victories. Maybe Clarke hasn't picked the best players - guess that's a matter of opinion - but he's hardly had the quality at his disposal to compare with previous Aus captains so I find it hard to compare their records when they have different tools to work with

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

@ JG2704 ..... your earlier comment gives credence to the belief that Clarke was responsible for winning the 2nd Test Match in SA when it was a lower order batting display that won the match in the end. As for the SA Series in Oz, I am not forgeting how Australia outplayed SA for most of the first two tests, but I also remember how Clarke was celebrating at the end of the 4th day of the 2nd Test .... mucking around giving everyone a bowl .... even Ponting .... and we all know how that turned out.

In response to your later comment ..... I actually think that there were better players who could have played for Australia ..... Katich/Rogers opening .... Hartley is better than Wade ..... Watson and Hughes, how many chances??? How many NSW Openers does the Australian Cricket Team need??

Posted by GrindAR on (November 5, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

I think, Cook takes calculated risks to benefit the result towards his way. It can be viewed as pessimistic captaincy... I would say Clarke is probably the most innovative person on field, when that person is a captain and does not apply his innovative thoughts in the right timings, lets say proactively as Cook does.... then what is the use of his inventiveness... Patents without a purpose???

I would say, surely somebody else like Watson can be critical thinker. I think at this stage he is way more balanced in mindset than he was a year before. It take a out of the box thinking as a captain. Not loosing the matching from all the omens says you are the winner

Posted by JG2704 on (November 5, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

@Joseph Langford on (November 5, 2013, 7:49 GMT) Fair points re selection but has Clarke had anywhere near the quality of player that Ponting had in the early/mid 90s to call upon? I mean it's not like he's selecting Wade and Doherty and leaving Gilchrist and Warne at home. He has never had Haydn,Langer,Gilchrist,McGrath,Warne and now does not have Ponting and Hussey either and if you take the India 4-0 defeat out of his record I'd say he's done at least as well as can be expected with the players he's had at his disposal PS Re Wade not being able to keep to spin - Maybe that's why he selected Doherty for that tour?

Posted by bobmartin on (November 5, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

@Posted by RobTay14 on (November 4, 2013, 23:20 GMT) " Cook is winning matches when him and his team mates score big, and his bowlers take wickets." How stupid of me not to have realised... but somehow I always thought that was the idea of the game...

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 7:49 GMT)

Can all those complaining about the quality of players in the Australian Team please pause, and remind themselves that Clarke was a selector. He selected Maxwell and Doherty on the Indian Tour, and kept Wade in the team despite him continually showing that he cannot keep to to spin.

And then remind themselves that in 11/2012 he captained NSW (Clarke, Henry, Warner, Watson, Maddinson, Nevill, O'Keefe, Starc, Copeland, Hazelwood, Bollinger) against Qld (Townsend, Kemp, Khawaja, Forrest, Burns Reardon, Hartley, Haurtiz, Gannon McDermott, Feldman). Surely Clarke could have led NSW to defeat Qld, without Harris and Hopes. But no .... Qld won by 6-wickets with 5 sessions to spare.

In 10/2013 Clarke led a NSW of similar strength to a loss against Tasmania.

No brilliant bowling changes, fielding positions, dominating batting displays, etc etc for the faithfully blind. So even with 'stronger players' he relies on luck not tactics to win ..... no luck, no dominance no win!!! It's that simple.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

Shane dont make such comments on Ricky on the eve of Ashes because it will play in the hands of these Poms although Ricky is not playing the game.

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (November 5, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Well, from what we know from Ponting and Hussey's account, its clear that Clarke is not the MOST LIKED person in the AUS Dressing room. One can read more to it with the recent "Homeowork" incident as well. From the "Katich incident" as described by Hussey, one tend to believe that Clarke "looks down" on his team mates. However, that is one side of the story. On the back of those revalations by Ponting and Hussey, it must be really hard for Clarke to lead the team where he has been kinda ridiculed by his seniors! Its as if the usual AUS "Banter" before a series started but in the wrong direction. Warne came out all guns blazzing and gave it direction. Given that Ponting's reference about Warne wouldnt have been a good Captain even if he was given a chance would have been added motivation to come out all guns blazzing! It makes sense as it was basically a choice between Ponting and Warne for Captaincy and Ponting had won that. Even though a bit late Ponting was rubbing the salt in now...

Posted by Khaum09 on (November 5, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

I don't know what all fuss is about. Cook has shown he can bring in results but also captain is as good as his team. Waugh was blessed with some of the greats in his side. Pointing no doubt was an average captain but i have not seen anything amazing in Clarke as well. Truly great captains transform average players into a good unit. Imran Khan Ganguly & Flemings are example to that. In my opinion best captains who are playing currently are Smith and Mishbah. Mishbah probably is best of all captains in test. He has average team with horrible batting line up and he took over captaincy when probably everything was stacked against him and was expected to fail. He has bought in some amazing results.

Posted by DontBeNice on (November 5, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

Warne rated Stephen Fleming better than Steve Waugh but when you compare the results you know he is completely wrong. What is the point in being imaginative without bringing the desired results? Ricky was a prolific scorer when he captained Australia but didn't bat well in the last few years which happens to most of the cricketers. Ricky has got all the rights to express what he feels in his autobiography when Warne had all the rights to express what he felt about Buchanan & Steve Waugh when he was playing which was lot more outrageous than this.

Posted by DontBeNice on (November 5, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Warne has always made statements which baffles me. He didn't have too much respect for John Buchanan & said "John Buchanan didn't bring much to the australian side". Ian chappel & Wane were always of the opinion that coaches can't bring in much difference & impact to a side, now they are heaping praises on Darren Lehmann b'cos Darren is very close to both of them. He once said Graeme Smith doesn't have the right leadership skills & once they played to gether in Rajasthan Royals his views about him completely changed. Shane Warne has no right to talk about the moral & leadership values. When he spoiled a young cricketer's life by saying the following words "Can't Bowl, Field & Bat". The unfortunate cricketer is Simon Cook. I think Cook is a better leader than Clarke, look at the results he has brought in after taking over from Strauss. They came to india & beat india convincingly. Look at the way he handled Pietersen & Look at the way Clarke has handled Watson.

Posted by Reggaecricket on (November 5, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

Human beings love gossip, that is what sells books, and what people love about autobiographies, but Shane Warne is spot on -- what happens in the dressing rooms should stay there. Betrayal of friendships and trust, is a pathetic way of just to string some curiosity about his book. Most f all, as a former Australian Cricketer, he should know not to cause this kind of controversy surrounding a serving Australian Captain especially so close to the ashes.

Posted by rienzied on (November 5, 2013, 4:44 GMT)

A brilliant thinker, has strategy, and very positive. However he really wants to control every facet of the game and thus the fall outs with Ponting, Katich and even the amiable Hussey. I hope Lehmann can control this and unite the players. His selection (Lehmann), was very good for team unity. I hope Australia can maintian the positivity of the field as they are on, and regain the ashes from the over confident English!

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

Ponting had a few good moments as captain but Clarke is far better, perhaps the difference between the 2 is expectation, Pont's inheriting a sucessful team, Clarke not. Waugh was a fine captain too (similar to Border in terms of mental toughness and discipline demanded). The last series was pretty close, As could hav won most games, but no longer have strong belief in themselves. I suspect with Boof and Clarke at the helm for the return series we will see a gripping series.

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (November 5, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

Steve Waugh was branded by Ian Chappell as a selfish batsman. He would boost his average by batting with the tailenders and allowing them as much of the strike as they could get thus Waugh would invariably end up with a not out against his name.

He also happened to be the captain of the far and away best team in world cricket and the other nations were all really pathetic for a couple of decades. It got to the point where we just invite the best of these nations to play in our Shield teams and make that the premier form of the game like State of Origin rugby league.

Posted by   on (November 5, 2013, 1:39 GMT)

@Martin Barnes - Clarke clearly doesn't have the players around him that other captains do. To judge him on his record would be unfair.

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (November 5, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

The headline is the usual hyperbole we have come to expect of late, and sadly most people are just not media savy enough to know when they are being taken for a ride.

Warne's analysis of Cook's captaincy is obviously correct. Some choose to ignore it because England are winning. But if you actually look at some of the games, they have had an almost extraordinary amount if luck of late. Both Australia and NZ dominated large portions of the most recent series, and rain and luck of the coin toss played a huge role in the Ashes. I can't see rain coming every time Australia post a big first innings lead.

Posted by skkh on (November 5, 2013, 1:08 GMT)

We all know how biased Shane is. This is Ricky's tale and he is entitled to what he says here. Clarke is Shane's pal as is Kevin and he protects them. It's no secret for us here in Australia of how Katich was treated by CA and if someone says Clarke had no say in this it would be difficult to believe. We also know how passive he was as Ricky's assistant so what has Ricky said here that amounts to his being jealous of Clarke? One century in a series does not make Clarke a great batsman. And his innovative field placings do not make him a great captain. Clarke is a very good batsman but a lousy team member. When it came out that Clarke said Watson was a cancer for the team why did not Warne and Taylor say something about it? Double standards indeed.As an Aussie I feel Cook has no need to be innovative as Clarke as his players are doing the job.And Taylor is a CA man and speaks as such. Rick's book is great, just read it.

Posted by othello22 on (November 5, 2013, 0:50 GMT)

Shane Warne only seems to open his mouth to change feet. Fact is, Clarke is an excellent batsman and a decent tactician but he is not a good man manager and does not seem to have the dressing room. Ponting mightn't have been a swashbuckling tactician but he was ten times the captain Clarke is and Warne would have ever been, which might explain why he was chosen for the job over Warne himself which Shane obviously seems to hold a grudge about. Pots and kettles and all that, hey? And as for Cook's captaincy - Well, England are winning test matches, are they not? Cook, like Punter, isn't a fancy tactician but he is is a fine captain and seems a decent man who has the respect of the dressing room. I'd take that over all the funky field placements and imaginative declarations you care to throw at me.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (November 5, 2013, 0:08 GMT)

Judge Clarke and Cook respectively on interpersonal bustups. Cook is quite an inclusive guy. Clarke? Well.... near impossible I( would say.

Posted by RobTay14 on (November 4, 2013, 23:20 GMT)

I've always believed that England have pretty dreadful, predictable captains, at least in terms of field setting. And I don't think Cook's success rate is reflection of his leadership, but of the talented players who are in the English team. Cook isn't winning these matches with his captaincy, like everyone commenting here seems to think; Cook is winning matches when him and his team mates score big, and his bowlers take wickets.

Posted by ScottStevo on (November 4, 2013, 23:15 GMT)

@Optic, you're forgetting the fact that prior to the last Ashes series most Eng pundits were so arrogant that you were supposed to win 5-0 and crush us. Which is why when you're already winning a series 2-0 and still drudging around, your big talk suddenly comes falling back on you. For if Eng were such a dominant team, they'd need not be so cautious; yet they were. Or, more to the point, they're not anywhere near as good as the pundits made them out to be, nor the Aus team anywhere near as bad as they were made out to be prior to and during the series. You can't have your cake and eat it too, mate. Can't big talk about thrashing us, then play defensive cricket, as you suggest it was, score at 2rpo and say it wasn't boring.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 22:47 GMT)

it was scary press conference by warne for enlglish players.. now lets see what comes from English side

Posted by ghost_of_len_hutton on (November 4, 2013, 22:25 GMT)

Anyone else wondering why Warnie finds it impossible to give Steve Waugh any credit as a captain? Talking up Border and Taylor is all very well, but Australia were a merciless machine under Waugh, and he never gets a smidgeon of credit from the Warnster.

Posted by Nerk on (November 4, 2013, 22:17 GMT)

This comment section seems to be divided. On one hand there are people who are saying Ponting should not tell us his opinion. On the other there are those who argue Warne should not have an opinion. Ironically, written by people expressing their opinion. They are both respected cricketers, and have earned the right to critique current players and teams. Doesn't mean they are right. I also point to the cricinfo article that actually read Ponting's book, and said that much of what he said has been taken out of context.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 22:14 GMT)

'Eck even a retired Warnie is promoting his Hampshire mates. Hope Carbs doesn't bat with KP - run out waiting to happen. Root is class. May be too callow to dominate this series, but I wouldn't bet against him. Aussie spats - don't care. Merely supporting. Book deals - move on.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (November 4, 2013, 21:56 GMT)

The most amusing thing about this article is the comments here with so many people thinking that they know more about test captaincy than Shane Warne.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion but there is no doubt that Warne knows a lot about test cricket, is a genius at figuring out how to get a batsman out and knows a lot about wining test matches.

If I was Cook I'd be listening to what Shane Warne is saying.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

I guess Warne is a bit upset with Ponting that he (i.e. Warne) didn't get to be the captain of Australia...

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 21:19 GMT)

Anyone who thinks you can judge the quality of a captain on the teams win loss ratio just is not thinking. Cooke & Ponting are both great cricketers but neither of them are great captains. A great captain can make something from nothing and lets face it my 87 year old aunt Flo could have lead the Australian team Ponting had and won games. The same goes for Cooke. The fact is they were/are both in charge at a time when their country had a strong team. Vaughn, Atherton, Hussain, Taylor Border & Waugh all better captains than these blokes, because a great captain will make something from nothing, will find a way to win games or get close with what they have. Look at blokes like Border & Atherton, both have terrible win loss records but the records wont show when these blokes walked on the field with a team 50% below par and came withing 10% of winning. Clarke now is being tested he does not have a great team and he needs to innovate, for cook that time will come.

Posted by AB_DeVilliers on (November 4, 2013, 20:48 GMT)

Clarke is good on the field, but poor off it. And clearly it's the other way around for Cook. I have to admit, from what I've seen, Cook is very quick to go on the defensive. One big partnership against Eng and I feel you can beat them.

Still think Smith is underated as a captain. He's not the worst tactically and has grown into some innovation, and clearly he is a great leader of men.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 20:43 GMT)

@ Mitty ..... you have a very selective memory of that 1st Test Match against WI and anyone who watched the match would have realised how much LUCK was involved in the win.

WI score 449 in the 1st innings. In response Australia were at one time 8/285 then 9/329 before declaring at 9/406 with Harris a few runs short of Clarke's top score. The declaration was not bold but stupid on what appeared to be a flat track and Harris couldn't open the bowling because he had been batting for over 3-hours.

But Hilfy opened with an incredible spell and when Harris came on a took Chanderpaul the game was on and Australia was set just under 200 to win.

But WI did not take their chances ..... Cowan was dropped on 6 and Watson was dropped on 4. It could have been 3/30. They went on to score 34 and 52 respectively. Clarke gave a Captain's contribution of 6 before an LBW decision against Wade was overturned by DRS.

Hussey slapped a couple but, ironically it was Hilfy and Harris as last men standing.

Posted by simonviller on (November 4, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

As I see it PONTING has others issues which I don't care to mention at this point in the conversation . I THINK THAT CLARKE IS THE BEST CAPTAIN IN CRICKET AT THE MOMENT AND A CLASSY GUY . I'll take Clarke ,Watson and the retired Hussey as the gentlemen of the Australians' team before the likes of PONTING anytime and that includes all their comments .

Posted by Dadders on (November 4, 2013, 20:23 GMT)

So in the couple of years or so that Cooky has been captain of England he's won a test series in India and won the Ashes.

Proof of the pudding is in the eating. I don't remember the "great" Aussie captains winning series in India even with the likes of Gilchrist, McGrath and Warne in their ranks

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

Re Ponting/Clarke - Please could someone enlighten me as to what the former said about the latter. Criticism can be just or unjust so can't comment on that. Re Cook's captaincy - I kind of agree with Warne's assessment , but I also think it comes from above. Strauss was pretty similarly unimaginative/safety first. Mind you the results by and large have been ok under Cook and I think he is a great man manager. I'd still prefer him/the team to be a little more adventurous on occasions

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:22 GMT)

@Mitty2 - I disagree with alot of what you say but I agree on 2 points

1 - Re Root - Maybe it was a bold move moving the batting line up around when he was doing well at 6 , but he is an opener for his county side and was scoring runs for fun for them at the start of the season

2 - Re the WI declaration - I too thought that an innovative move at the time and it's something Flower (I mean Cook) would never dream of doing

I do however at times feel Warne's research/knowledge/insight is at times lacking. I wonder if Warne appreciated that Root had scored so prolifically at the start of the season as an opener. Also in the 3rd test (on the 4th day when we all knew there would be weather about on the 5th day but no one knew how much) he indicated that he thought Aus should/would bat til the end of day 4. I'm sorry but that seems safety 1st for a captain like Clarke and I wonder if Warne was badly 2nd guessing what was in MC's mind?

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@Andrew Jon Dodds on (November 4, 2013, 8:44 GMT) And you knew exactly what England would have got in the 1st inns and exactly how much time the game would have left right? Also Eng were at one point 280-7 in that game with still another 47 needed to avoid the follow on. Whatever he declared at , if Eng just beat the follow on some folk would have been critical There were comms at the time saying Clarke went on for too long. They maybe batted for too long in the 2nd inns but then no one knew how much weather would affect that game. Even on the day itself our commentators felt they'd get a full day's play

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@Joseph Langford on (November 4, 2013, 8:29 GMT) His lesser Aus side also had the mighty SA side reeling in 2 of the 3 tests in the last series and in the series before and in the previous time SA/Aus met , Aus levelled the 2 match series after being convincingly beaten in the 1st test in SA. Also his side beat India 4-0 at home in the previous series between the 2 teams. I'd say he can be a little OTT re discipline matters and maybe could be a little more flexible with players but IMO he's an exciting captain who leads from the front

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@landl47 on (November 4, 2013, 7:14 GMT) Clarke was out of luck in the recent Ashes series. He'd definitely have won the 3rd test had it not been for the weather and Aus were well on top of the final test before the declarations etc. I'd also say Cook has been lucky in 3 tests.

1 - Vs NZ - when Mccullum batted away his best chance of winning

2 - Vs NZ (home) when NZ's poor batting and the weather being better than forecasted ensured the bowlers good work wasn't undone

3 - The 3rd test vs Australia where weather definitely saved England

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@ optic ...... Exactly!!! Did Clarke make an aggressive declaration in the 2nd Innings in SL in the 3rd Test when Australia led 1-0 to force a result. No .... He batted out the day on a nice flat track.

Posted by JG2704 on (November 4, 2013, 20:21 GMT)

@Emily Lewis (Nov 4, 4:23) but then again Mccullum undid all the positive aspects of his captaincy in the 3rd test vs Eng in NZ by 1st not enforcing the follow on and 2ndly batting on too long.

@Kumar Gaurav Singh (Nov 4, 4:38 ) Smith has been immense but at times I felt he could be a little safety 1st. SA only became number 1 in mid 2012 and with the players he has one could say they should have been number 1 earlier. Also Clarke's personal performances have been immense as captain. When the 2 squared up in 2011 - SA won the 1st test comfortably and it was Clarke with a lesser side who levelled it. I think it's difficult to judge Smith vs Clarke as Clarke does not have the same quality of player in his side

@Rohit Sahay (Nov 4, , 4:41) Look at the players Ponting had under him and compare them to the players Clarke has.

@marlon17 (Nov 4 5:39) Smith (now) and Ponting (then) have/had the best team in the world - does that necessarily make them the best captains?

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 4, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

In Shock news it would appear Warne is still playing mind games. In other shock news Clarke is a world class captain despite not having won a test this year.Cook is a poor captain because he keeps winning tests. Oh well we can only hope that we can play the Aussie way.Its such a success. Tell you what Warnie lets see what happens at the end of the sries because right now the Aus media and fans have enough hot air to spark up global warming by a couple of degrees.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

As Andy Flower quite rightly said 'theres more to captaincy than setting funky fields' . Judge Cook and Clarke by their respective records as captains...

Posted by Optic on (November 4, 2013, 19:12 GMT)

To Warne and Mitty, this England always play defensive boring cricket is rubbish, made up by the poor losers that is the Aussies. Did you see us playing boring cricket in the 3 test matches we won in the Ashes, did you see boring cricket the previous series against NZ we won. What about the away series against India, no you didn't. The fact is when you are up in a series like we were in the Ashes, you play a more sensible defensive game. It's very easy as the opposition to throw out insults when you're losing, that's all you've got left. I bet all money Clarke would have played it exactly the same way as Cook if he were in his shoes. Seriously it' just talk from the fans and team of a poor losing side.

@Mitty we saw in the test that Root got his 180, Clarke had 9 men on the boundary, we saw it in the last test as well, when his tactics started to back fire, if you watched with both eyes you'd see this.

Posted by sharidas on (November 4, 2013, 19:09 GMT)

Ah ! Cricket. A game for the players, A game for the talkers, A game for the writers. There is a story for every one. A mountain, A molehill That's what makes it exciting !

Posted by hhillbumper on (November 4, 2013, 19:08 GMT)

Just one thing Shane.If Clarke is such a great captain don't they need to win some tests? As for Cook being defensive. Yeah yeah yeah.Play the Aussie way and blow smoke sbout how good you are. What did Hampshire win? Clarke is a great captain except for winning tests and seemingly leading his teamn but apart from that he has some nice field placements.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (November 4, 2013, 18:54 GMT)

Well, Warne is spot on about England's batting order. Root is a great number six (whose presence there in the order will intimidate any opposition), but doesn't seem to have the mettle of a test opener. Bairstow is probably not a test bat, and ought never to keep wicket for England (we have better batsmen, much better keepers, and, actually, several better keeper batsmen). Carberry should be given a chance at the top of the order. And Cook - who is admirable in so many ways - is not an especially imaginative or interesting captain. So well done, Shane.

Posted by CMIS on (November 4, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

Oh come off it people, that's what autobiographies are about. If you can have Andre Agassi confessing to drug usage, you can have Ricky Ponting making some balanced criticisms. Steve Waugh talked about Michael Slater's temperament in his autobiography, not to mention the 'revelations' Shoaib Akhtar made about some pakistani players' team spirit in the dressing room. Dressing room is sacrosanct for current players in it, not those who have left the game. Even so, I could have seen Warnie working himself up if Ponting was vindictive about Clarke. But he merely said that Clarke did not hang around for team songs or for Matt Hayden's farewell. He also said that he became much more sociable as time went by. I wonder what you guys on Ponting's case think autobiographies should be -- a series of match reports?

Posted by AKS286 on (November 4, 2013, 18:22 GMT)

Its really a foolishness to debate upon universal truth. Punter is one of the best leader and captain.Those who talk about Mcgrath, Warne , Gilchrist,Gillespie in his team. The match is not win by three players. He also captained with rookie players and won the game like Elliot, Blewett, Slater, Langer, Hayden, Martyn, Fleming, Kasprowitz (On that time these are rookies). That was the age of roaring Maher, Love, law. Watson, Symond, Johnson,Bracken is developed by Punter. One more thing to Indian fans Ganguly is having Tendulkar, Dravid, kumble, Yuvraj, Robin Singh, Sehwag, Harvajan, zaheer,etc What he has done ? Nothing. And look at new skipper Dhoni with few youngsters he proved himself, The soo called god scored 18 in final.Still Dhoni also don't know who is Jadeja ? Is he is a spinner or batsman or all rounder. About Cook, animated captain does't mean you are active. Remember Hansie Cronje.

Posted by 64blip on (November 4, 2013, 17:56 GMT)

"He lets the game drift. He waits for the game to come to him." I don't think that's the case, I think he's patient. It was interesting listening to Broad's interview with Vaughan on R5 last night. He talked about getting up for the moments when they arrive. Cook favours waiting for the moments he knows will come, with a team that is also waiting and ready to respond when they do. I think it would be fair to say England won the key moments of the last Ashes. Broad also talked about stopping worrying about taking wickets. Dry up the runs, put the ball in the right place and it will come. He said he'd take 3-30 off 20 over 5-80 off 20 every time. Patience.

Posted by gmoturu1 on (November 4, 2013, 17:16 GMT)

Mr. Warne style of play is attacking. Not everyone can do that. If Cook is defensive what is wrong in that. He has not lost a series yet. How many tests did he loose? Not many. Any coming to the case of Ponting. He is right about Clarke. Clarke has done more bad than good for Australian team. There is too much "my way" in his attitude. He may score many runs, but what's the point if he can't build a good team.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 17:08 GMT)

To even suggest that pup is a the best captain in world cricket shows his bias towards Clarke. Has he ever wondered No one manages a team better than MSD, no one wins more than Graham Smith, and Darren Sammy would never lose with the talent that Clarke has at his disposal. A captai cannot be selfish and that is what Michael Clarke is, very very classy ad elegant with the bat but all runs he scores he scores for himself not Aus.

Posted by mrmonty on (November 4, 2013, 16:10 GMT)

Warnie might be on to something here. Those who say Ponting was such a great captain, they need to look at his captaincy records after the great exodus (of Mcgrath, Warne, Gilchrist, Gillespie). That's why Warnie is right, Border and Taylor didn't have such resources and still manufactured great teams. To those who say Warne as a captain wouldn't have been as disciplined on the field as captain as Ponting was, Ponting probably was involved in at least one public spat/misconduct per series for his entire playing career. Lastly, you can't sat stuff about current and past players in your book to show your bias and expect them take it laying down.

Posted by Viswasam on (November 4, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

I totally agree with Warne. I don't believe this has anything to do with the fact that he is good friends with Clarke - fundamentally Ponting has broken the dressing room contract. The one that says, what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. Further, to denigrate a presently serving Australian captain, from a holier than thou stance when the reality is that he is simply doing it for personal profitable reasons is utterly despicable. Clarke never inherited the riches that Ponting did and so Clarke has to resort to imaginative tactics to make the most out of what he's got. Ponting may have had the respect of his men but a captain he was not. Long on runs short on class is Ponting.

Posted by binojpeter on (November 4, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

I don't agree with Warne here. At the end of the day, it is the success percent that matters and Cook is way above Clarke on that as of now. I agree that Clarke is an innovative captain, and he might very well improve his success percent in the coming years, who knows. It is also true that Cook has better resources at his disposal than Clarke. But results are what matters ultimately. Personally, I felt that Sachin Tendulkar was an innovative captain during the period he was captain, but success percent was not on his side. So Dhoni, Ganguly and Dravid are clearly better captains than him based on success percent.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Let us not read too much into Warne's attack on Ponting. It is simple and expected. The differences Warne had with Steve Waugh and Adam Gilchrist are well known and public knowledge. Now comes Ricky Ponting. Note that he has never openly criticized any other of his team mates.

Is there any common factor among S Waugh, A Gilchrist and R Ponting? There is. It is that they were all Captains of the Australia team in which Warne played. Yes, A Gilchrist was mainly Vice Captain, but he captained Australia towards their only test series win in India in the last 40+ years.

So, thats about it. Australian captaincy is something which he aspired badly. But, never got it.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 15:10 GMT)

Australians are the same, whether they are on or off the field. If Cook's captaincy is so negative, why is he and England is so superior over Australia when they have the advantage of having the "best captain" in the world. Why can't Clarke take advantages over the poor captaincy and win games for a change? I think M.S , Smith , and Cook himself is cracking up at the moment. Another trashing for Australia under a negative England captain.

Posted by BigINDFan on (November 4, 2013, 14:43 GMT)

Out with the old timers who keep fighting and taking each other sides. Bring in a fresh new captain like Bailey or make Haddin the captain for the Test and ODIs. Clarke is done as captain and should focus on his fitness and batting. Watson needs to clean up his attitude and figure out if he is an allrounder or batsman.

I loved Bailey's attitude and captaincy in the Ind series. He is in form and leads by example. Bring in Faulkner, Maxwell to the test side. These guys are in form and brimming with confidence. A home series against Eng is the best way to test them out. After all they cannot do worse than the other batsmen who failed miserably in Eng.

About Cook - Warne is right. Strauss was a much better captain. Cook needs to be more aggressive and Eng will be on top of the test rankings soon. If he needs aggression he can talk to Swann or Broad.

Posted by bluemagik on (November 4, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Typical Aussie style talking before any's boring cook who won the first leg of the ashes series....warney is trying on the usual mind games but he forgets this is not the team led by a steve waugh or mark taylor with players like himself, and oh wait ponting and mind games are a bit useless when you cant back it up with the real game...anyway that's my 2 cents

Posted by vvbr on (November 4, 2013, 14:02 GMT)

It is so not going well in the aussie camp. Aussies always try to unsettle the opposition by there remarks. I am sure attacking cook because he didn't score many runs in the english summer seem to be the idea of Aussies.

Posted by heathrf1974 on (November 4, 2013, 13:55 GMT)

Too much talking out of school from past players. I just wish they would both pull their heads in. It is not helping Australian cricket.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 13:52 GMT)

well said ReverseSweepIndia . no GREAT CAPTAIN at the moment in world cricket. and Smith is the best of the lot

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 4, 2013, 13:41 GMT)

@Mitty2 on (November 4, 2013, 10:26 GMT), I remember that game in WI. Australia would have won that game anyway. It was Australia's bowlers, not Clarke's captaincy, that won them the game. Declaring 30 runs behind when you're 6 down is one thing but when you're 9 down is no big deal. As for DRS, no doubt England make speculative calls at times and are wrong at times but that Bairstow review was beyond laughable. I can imagine what many Aussie fans would have said had a similar review been taken when Stuart Broad was the bowler. As I said, Clarke is an aggressive captain but that aggression has hurt Australia as much or more than it has helped them from from what I've seen. Shane Warne was criticising Cook because he wasn't willing to risk losing in order to win. It's easier to say that when your own team is losing regularly. Why should Cook take such a risk when wins are coming fairly regularly as it is? That said, England did chase those runs at The Oval.

Posted by CricketChat on (November 4, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Why doesn't CA make Warne as the head coach? All time great player, astute thinker and a great captain in any format. What more qualifications does one need? A coaching certificate that lesser mortals need? If only some of Warnie's qualities rub on current Aussie players, they can only go up from here.

Posted by bobmartin on (November 4, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

With these comments Warne has got the attention he has so desperately continued to seek ever since he ceased to be an integral part of the Aussie team.. He may well have been an outstanding cricketer, but that's where it should have ended.. All he can do now is confine himself to baseless and controversial comments to try to keep himself in the limelight.

Posted by Front-Foot-Sponge on (November 4, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

"The Aussies continue to rip themselves apart by infighting". Now that is a stretch of a comment. The only current player Warne has a go at is Cook and they are hardly fighting words, merely that Cook's tactics lack innovation which many pundits agree with. C'mon lunge, say something nice.

Posted by tamperbay on (November 4, 2013, 13:20 GMT)

@landl47 - Clarke's declaration in the last series was NOT a mistake. Clarke knew that if England started getting close to the target he could slow the over rate down and get the umpires to stop the game because of bad light. Why did he know this? Because England had employed the exact same tactics in the same match (and also earlier in the series). They consistently slowed down play well below the established minimum over rate and went completely unpunished for it. They also pestered the umpires to stop the game whenever the light deteriorated and it wasn't in their favour. Clarke knows that the umpires have to be consistent. Because of this, there was NO WAY England could have won that game - and Clarke knew it. By declaring at that point, it was almost impossible for Australia to win that game. BUT AT LEAST HE TRIED (in fact he was the ONLY captain in the game from the start of Day 2 who was playing to win). It gave him some credibility and it made for some great entertainment.

Posted by shillingsworth on (November 4, 2013, 13:19 GMT)

No matter what drivel Warne comes out with, you can always rely on the fawning media to give it lots of coverage. You're not a real pundit unless you preface every statement with 'as Shane Warne says'. I saw little aggressive captaincy from Clarke in the closing stages at the Oval. As for the imaginative bit, leaving 3rd man open for Bell throughout the series worked really well, didn't it?

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 12:47 GMT)

It is amazing the way Warne is defending his 'buddy' Clarke.Why a great player like Ponting would be jealous of Clarke!!! Clarke has still a long way to go to match Ponting either as a player or a captain.Clarke lacks the most basic trait of a leader -that is to build trust among team members,to build a culture in which players can trust each other and their leader so that they can perform well as a team on the field. Cook might not be most innovative or positive captain but at least he has successfully build a good team environment where players trust their each other and their captain. Hence they are winning. And Australia is losing despite of their 'innovative' and 'tactically brilliant' captian.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 4, 2013, 12:46 GMT)

I think even though he is long since retired Warne still feel he has a role to play within the Aus side by trying to get under the skins of the Eng players. Does he honestly think Cook really cares about what he thinks and that he is suddenly going to change his style of Captaincy to appease Warne? I seem to remmember before the series here that he came out and sat if KP didn't play Aus would win the series. In the end KP did play but apart from his 100 in Manchester he didn't do an awful lot in the other 4 tests and we still managed to win 3 of them!

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (November 4, 2013, 12:44 GMT)

The Aussies continue to rip themselves apart by infighting. We all know how bad a man-mangaer Clarke is, but is it really right for Warny to wallop him now, so close to the Ashes? Another sign that doesn't bode well for Aus.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

Got to love Warne, great Cricketer but when it comes to Australia and particularly Clarke the blinkers come on. Rather have Cook than Clarke Aussie Captain made a massive mistake at Old Trafford by declaring too late always take notice of a bad weather forecast in Manchester even Warne should have told him that. Clarke always found wanting in the 'big moments'.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (November 4, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

@Mitty2, Cook's approach to on field captaincy is very much saftey first & is clearly not to everyone's taste. However it is clearly proving effective as Eng are unbeaten in 13 tests. As an Eng fan of course i would prefer to see us be a bit more aggresive & score quicker but as long as we are winning test matches i'm really not that bothered. If your honest with yourself I'm sure if the boot was on the other foot you would be more than happy to grind out victories rather racking up loss after loss.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

@ Anthony Purcell .... sorry mate but he is an ineffective Captain!!!

"he scores a mountain of runs"

He does .... and I have written this on several occasions, as I have also written that this is often on the back of dropped catches, missed catches or, in a case of the recent Tour of India, not walking when he clearly hit the ball to a close in fieldsman.

"he is very good at manipulating the tempo of the game to engineer positive results" ..... if by engineer positive results you mean losing, then you are spot on!! if by manipulating the tempo you mean being part of top order collapses and being saved by the batting performances of bowlers, again you are correct!!

"implements innovative and effective field placements" .... if you mean having 2-slips and a gully, even when you are in an unlosable situation that results in a draw ... again correct.

Can we now talk about how how he took Pattinson off in the 1st Test in India after he took 2-wickets and limited his bowling that day!!!

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 12:30 GMT)

Impossible to compare the two considering both are captaining two very different sides. Even when Ponting captained a weakened side he at least had himself and Hussey. Sounds to me like Warnie is doing some headline hunting / promotion like Gower's "no culture" insult before the last series. It's moments like this i've come to hate the hype and just want to see the players get out there and sort it out on the field.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (November 4, 2013, 12:27 GMT)

People who plays the game, great many of them, are more goods with their batting/bowling skills than oratory ones. Then after retirement this changes and with age as primary skills diminish oratory skills are enhanced to a new level. Gavaskar (doesn't matter what he speaks, the manner he speaks), Border, Chappel Brothers, Boycott, Hadlee and many more. Warne, I would have thought about it longer, but still can spin the ball more and better than he can speak. Those 15 guys who are just about to go on a war, have the baggage of 3 losses would have been better served without these distractions. That said, Ponting's this biography is more badly timed than some of shots from Aus batsmen in tests.

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (November 4, 2013, 12:19 GMT)

I think we do not have even a single 'great' captain at the moment in test sides. You need to be leader of men as well as a astute tactician. Which none of present 10 test playing captains get good on both counts. Clark, McCullam, are very good tactician. Cook, Dhoni are good leaders but fails on tactics. SA's Smith is good on leader and not so bad on tactics. Sammy, though a lovable chap, but does not inspire confidence in his team. Same with Misbah, lead by example, only rock in group of pebbles but still not a leader. SL still has to find some feet in captaincy and same true for Ban and Zim. I would say if we have to say best from current lot Smith (SA) would be the man.

Posted by mjcoxx on (November 4, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

This issue had been pretty much buried and everyone had moved on until Warne raised it again. Warne says Ponting should have left it in the dressing room. Perhaps Warne could have let sleeping dogs lie by not bringing the issue up again or declining to comment if it was brought up by a journalist.

Posted by millsy24 on (November 4, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

CricLook. He did not cause the early retirement of Katich or Hussey. A source of conflict with his younger team mates like Watson? Find out your facts first. Clarke and Watson have played against each other since they were young kids, they are the same age.

Posted by Wharfeseamer on (November 4, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Even Warne doesn't believe this.... it's just something to say in support of a mate.

Posted by AKS286 on (November 4, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Don't react on Warne's comment. Because simply he is a media hero and always give such kind of statement for being in Limelight. After few days he will sure come up with this- "I really don't mean that, media makes my words into wrong meaning. Me & Punter were played more than a decade and we know each other. And what he(Punter) done for Aus is known by everyone ".

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

Why is every news outlet running this with the title that Warne is "attacking" Ponting or anyone else? These comments are so taken out of context and loaded up with emotion or intent to harm when that is not the case. Warne simply speaks his mind, he puts his opinion out there and he doesn't try to be gentle or polite, but he certainly isn't attacking anyone. I recall some commentary during a recent game where his words were re-produced in an Australian newspaper and the same kind of tag associated with them. I found the whole thing idiotic. Nothing he said was particular controversial or aggressively attacking but the way people write about them you'd think he'd launched a personal tirade of insults. These latest comments to me are harmless. He postulates an odd theory that Ponting has personal issues with Clarke and felt the need to push this story out of jealousy. So what? How on earth is that a big deal or an "attack". The entire cricket media needs to calm down.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

@Anthony Purcell - what 'positive results' would these be then? Or do you count an Australian loss rather than a draw as positive?

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

Yeah well, at least Cook has the respect of his players. That sort of thing is actually an important part of leadership, which is why Agent Orange never got to be captain.

Posted by Selassie-I on (November 4, 2013, 11:38 GMT)

Shane's finally losing it I think. Let's look at results, Australia haven't won a test this year, England have not lost a test this year - who is the better captain by result?

Shane needs to realise that any old fool can stick a load of fielders round the bat, it takes a proper captain to be a leader of men, judging by the state that Cook took over the England team, KP saga etc., and that there seems to have been no issues since, on the other hand no end of issues seem to have developed under Clarke, when there was none when he took over. Who is the better captain for being a leader..?

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

@Joseph Langford the evidence is that Clarke personally scores a mountain of runs, that he is very good at manipulating the tempo of the game to engineer positive results, and that he implements innovative and effective field placements. What he can't do is bat at every spot in the top order.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

mr warne and ian chappell you guys need a reality check. you guys think that your word is final and world comes to an end if it crosses your line. warnie in particular had a strained relation with all in the aussie team. his fights with gilchrist, hayden and the steve were well documented. surprised ponting did not make runs, then you should be accusing yourself of not taking wickets

Posted by CricketFollowers on (November 4, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Warne is right, Ponting played under the shadows of Mcgrath,Hayden,Warne & Gilchrist. Without those greats Ponting's captaincy would have been a question mark. Aus team was under the transition when Clarke took over which is just opposite of Ponting's team. Ponting should have not spoke about Clarke(who is the current captain).

Posted by mattboosa on (November 4, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

@Mitty2 - Clarke may well be a better on field tactician than Cook however what about as an actual leader? We read a lot about team culture and character and it is clear that Ausralia lacked it for a long time, seemingly until the last ashes and the appointment of Lehmann. All Ponting was doing in his book was pointing out Clarke's lack of willingness to participate in team celebrations and therefore questioned his commitment and leadership as vice captain. IMO that is reasonable. Cook on the other hand, as you said is a poor on field captain however, (as far as we can tell) is an outstanding leader in the dressing room. To get Pieterson back in the fold and performing is a feat in itself. While he is winning, does he need to be creative? Agreed though, BORING!!!

Posted by CricLook on (November 4, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

Sorry Mr. Warne, Can't agree with you. Clarke neither a great captain nor person. He is a divisive figure in the dressing room. He not only the cause of early retirement of senior players like Katich and Hussey but also source of conflict with his younger team mates like Watson. Ashes is not the only yardstick , Ponting won two world cups and great batsman. I think warne was jealous not getting Australian captaincy.

Posted by NAP73 on (November 4, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Yet another reason why Warne would not have been a great captain. Too much bias, egotism etc.. There are always lessons to be learnt in exit interviews if you ignore the superfluous, rubbish etc. Clarke is very overrated, plus he keeps having fitness issues. By the way, it was always a stupid decision to give so much advance notice to him re becoming captain. I hope they do not make the same mistake about Bailey down the track (dependant on him continuing to develop; mind you, he needs to learn make runs in first class as well - although it is really 'second class' at times ...). Then again, I must admit that I am not as excited by cricket as much as I use to be anyway - must be all the T20, quickly forgotten ODIs, one-sided results etc.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

BEST CAPTAIN PUP??? U JOKING!!! HOW MANY CUPS HE won for Aussies??? then whereabout MS Dhoni for his captaining minds??? U must be joking Warne, U are baised , Ponting was much better leader !!!

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (November 4, 2013, 10:32 GMT)

Warne was a good legspinner and SOME of his observations of the game were clever but not ALL of them. Clarke is a good Test batsman but as a captain he is poor. Amen.

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 4, 2013, 10:26 GMT)

@jmcilhinney, well that's a bit ridiculous. Don't remember the plaudits Clarke got for declaring 30 runs behind the West Indies which caused us to win the game with the impending threat of rain? No? Even Eng fans before the Ashes were stating that australia's only advantage was Clarke's superiority over Cook as an on-field tacticians.

And also lol on your point about Clarke's use of the DRS, we got criticised early for some poor use of it, but then Eng as the series went on made just as many, if not more mistakes with the DRS. Can't you remember the hilarity of seeing all of KP, Cook and Prior in conference again and again in what was hailed by some after TB as the most effective way to use the DRS, only to see them review balls missing the stumps by a few miles? Because I certainly do!

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 4, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

One things for sure though, Cook's one of, if not the worst on field tacticians in world cricket. I'm sorry, but we're ranked 4th , NZ around 6th and yet we saw Cook implementing fields with 9 men on the boundary against both teams. OT where we had played entertainingly the first two days but were still 2-0 down with no chance of regaining the Ashes... Eng score at 2 an over until KP helps it up. Last test, fans ask for refunds because Eng partake in what was labeled one of the most boring days of cricket. This is Eng 3-0 up. Eng fans justify it by saying attritional cricket, but they had won the series not through attritional cricket, but by blowing us out of the water by a mixture of class bowling and our ridiculous tendencies to collapse whenever we feel like it. Eng 3-0 up, want to play entertaining cricket, show the fans something? No? Even our debutant Faulkner ripped into Cook. Pathetic.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (November 4, 2013, 10:12 GMT)

There's been a lot said about the captaincy of Clarke and Cook, not least by Warne. I don't think that there's any doubt that Clarke is the more aggressive captain but Warne does go a bit over the top. I think that in Clarke's case, he's a bit of a gambler and that often gets mistaken for creativity. Can anyone point to any instance where Clarke's captaincy has actually won Australia a game or Cook's has England one? The day may come but it hasn't yet. In fact, one could say that Clarke's nature actually cost Australia the first Test in England because there's no way that England would have wasted that review on Bairstow and would thus have had one left for Broad. Clarke also almost cost his team the last Test as well as England would have easily chased down that target down if not for the light. Clarke gambled because it was Australia's only chance of a win and it backfired. Mind you, it could be said that England's slow batting cost them in that game too.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (November 4, 2013, 10:11 GMT)

Warne is my favourite cricketer of all time but he really needs the limelight doesn't he? It is as if he cannot stand there being an Ashes series without the focus being on him. On another note, I thought Australians looked out for their 'mate'. I thought Australia was all about 'mateship' and all of that? Not seeing much of that at the moment eh? Watson/Katich/Punter v Clarke, Warne V Punter amongst others. Wow. How 'Un-Australian'. or is that all just mate stuff just self promoting rhetoric? Hmmm...

Posted by mravikiran on (November 4, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

Warne himself hasn't been professional himself to judge others

Posted by chrynnon on (November 4, 2013, 10:05 GMT)

On their results the two best captains in the world are Smith and Cook. And on his results Clark is one of the worst.

And on his results Warne is one of the worst commentators. His grossly biased effort during the last Ashes was cringeworthy.

Posted by gm47 on (November 4, 2013, 9:59 GMT)

@John Raj Joy on (November 4, 2013, 5:39 GMT) Pup is not the best captain in the world..!! very easily, it is MS Dhoni...!!!!

REALLY !! In the last 8 tests V England he won 1 and lost 6…. :) :)

Posted by R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (November 4, 2013, 9:52 GMT)

For God's sake Warne - get out there and develop new wrist-spinners instead of saying this and disintegrating so many years of fantastic cricket.

I do agree with him about Root though; it's all very well opening in county cricket, but completely different kettle of fish in tests. Root looked much more comfortable and productive down in the middle - I wish he'd play there with Bell. Compton would be my opener, but hell I'd even take Carberry opening with Cook and Root back down in the middle over the current set-up.

Posted by coldcoffee123 on (November 4, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

To be honest, Australia, as a team, played really well in India. Yes the bowling struggled, but as a team, they looked like enjoying the challenge and played with an uncluttered mind. For the first time in the last 4 years, I saw Australian team not mention the words "learning curve", "team standards", "culture", "homework", "discipline" etc. and no dressing room tantrums, or twitter storms. The series was all about cricket, the way it should be. I do not believe Clarke-Arthur theories on Watson not being a team player. The guy puts 100% on the field and batted on despite injury in the final ODI and looked gutted when he aggravated his hamstring. Now for Ashes, under Clarke, the "learning curve", "team standards", "culture", "homework", "discipline" talk will return and team selection will be based on who has done the "homework". I hope not.

Posted by drpramit on (November 4, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

Well Cook is calm by nature so saying that he never looks excited means that he is not a good captain is definitely wrong on warne's part. Again saying that clarke is the best captain of the world is an overstatement. yes i agree that ponting was not as good as taylor or border but still i would rank him as one of the better captain of two (clarke & ponting). Clarke is going through a bad phase where no Aussie batsman is good enough to play at test level. I must say that so far clarke has not done anything as such bad but he has to win few games before come in the cat of ponting waugh taylor or border

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

There is definitely trouble in the Aussies dressing room. Egos have attained larger-than-life proportions, very unlike the Australian teams of the yore. Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh were the best. The problem began with Ponting and Michael 'Pup' Clarke has proved to be a worthy successor of the same ineptitude in uniting the team. I feel Watson brings greater value to the Aussies than Michael Clarke and needs to be in the side but not as captain. George Bailey needs to make his test debut and as a captain no less. His calm and imaginative approach to captaincy is most likely to produce good results starting this Ashes series. The trick to beat England is to have their bowlers under pressure very early in their spells. This is the Australian squad i like to see: Shane Watson, Glenn Maxwell, George Bailey, Philip Hughes, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, James Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, David Warner and Ashton Agar.

Posted by AKS286 on (November 4, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Good batsman or bowler does't mean that you are a good captain. Smith & Bailey does't speak much but they reflect the quality of a good leader. I think Clarke is the Worst captain in the World in terms of everything. Australia lost everything under Clarke's regime. When I look at Brendan Taylor, McCullam, Misbah, Rahim then know what is a captain they don't have resources, always troubled by board, money but they maintain the discipline, motivation & Unity of the team.

Posted by Ali_Chaudhary on (November 4, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Well Done Warney. That ist the reason why I respect you more than anybody else. You dont think who you are talking against but just speak the truth. btw punter must also write in his book why he all of suuden retired? I fells he was afraid of 4-0 in India and 5-0 in England.

Posted by Mitty2 on (November 4, 2013, 9:30 GMT)

It's funny because I agree with Warne until the Root call. Extremely talented, very good off the back foot and a good puller of the ball. I think he'll prefer the bounce and less assistance to Lyon who he kind of struggled against. Root will definitely prefer the ball coming on to the bat with consistency and I'll be pretty surprised if he doesn't score well as opener. Although, his form's not too great.

People can ramble on about on field captaincy and off field captaincy, but the reality is that we have no evidence about what happens off field. Eng have won a lot of games of recent - you can assume a good culture - whereas we've been smashed - bad culture. But not sure that's necessarily true, there's a huge discrepancy in quality of players and experience and as Cowan said, you can only judge a culture if you're involved in the team. Us posters certainly aren't. But then again, the difference in performance with Bailey as captain and Clarke as captain. We looked to be enjoying...

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 4, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

I think after reading who is better captain with various opinion. My ranking of what is most important part of captain. 1. Has to be leader. 2. Able to make player play for him without any disrespect ( people may not agree but you still have to do your job). 3. Reading game and move fielders , change bowlers , change batting order , chose to bat or field etc. ( this is for me very over rated. - its more of asrtistic look at captaincy). Most people Ignore first two point when they say best captain based on point 3 which i think 100% wrong. Captain has to be good leader first before anything else. Clarke is awful leader and he is source of all negativity because he played politics with career of Symmonds, Hussey , katich and many more which we do not know about. I have no clue why CA keeping him captain.

Posted by jackiethepen on (November 4, 2013, 9:18 GMT)

Warne is turning into Botham. It seems to be the fate of such players who want to go for the jugular all the time. He kept predicting that Australia would murder England. Well they didn't. So his comments are avoiding some tricky questions about Australia. Cook is a negative unimaginative captain but he treats his players fairly and gives praise where it is due. So his team are prepared to follow him. I do think he's not good enough as captain and it is affecting his batting. Flower is too controlling. Mat Prior is a poor VC and it is affecting his batting! It may cost us a Test but not sure it will cost a Series. Now Flower has his own way with his favourites we can see his weakness as coach.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 4, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Diaz 54 , i agree dhoni is not great captain but he got all the luck that universe offers. I rather be lucky than smart comparativelu. :). Every one knows he is great leader , he makes player play for him where ever he goes. He has that X factor that no indian or any captain possessed ever. He make people trust him even though they do not agree. Result matters. he got all the result. Even india lost 8-0 in england and australia mainly because indian batsman failed to deliver. He could have changed batting line up to everything but you really look close , you know if he changed players , line up and still lost , he would have been marked man. So he played his cards very well if you ask me. Is he brave captain , shrewd captain? Nope. He is one damn lucky in everything.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (November 4, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

Gee Warnie can make you laugh some times. Talk about jealous? Warnie has always had it in for Ponting because the selectors picked him over Warne. Good thing to. Warne isn't disciplined enough off the field to be Test captain.

Ponting wasn't a good tactician whereas he was a great leader. Clarke is the opposite. Ironically, Warne was both but he couldn't see the big picture. Just too immature to be a captain. There's no real evidence Bailey, Smith etc can do the job at test level so we are stuck with Clarke until his back finally gives up.

As for Cook, doesn't matter if he's negative. Poms are better than us at the moment. Only Clarke & Harris would make their team and maybe Rogers ahead of Root. At least 8 poms would make our team. Even Clarke or Ponting could captain England and they would win.

When we find 6 test batsman we can compete, but not yet.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 4, 2013, 9:11 GMT)

Clarke oozes negativity to core. Warne may be intelligent but sometime he has foot in the mouth disease. Ponting was great captain. He might have lost ashes because talent cupboard was empty. Clarke is like school teacher type my way or no way is so childish why they even keep him captain is beyond...

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

I agree with aahahaa. Leadership is about man management and getting the best from a group of players. When a team is denied its best opener (Katich) and a player of the quality of Mike Hussey, then that skipper isn't showing a great deal of people skills. When your vice captain contemplates retiring from test cricket because the team management and skipper are treating everyone like school kids, when the one player who should be dropped for poor attitude continues to get away with it, there doesn't appear to be a lot of good leadership going on.

Posted by class9ryan on (November 4, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

Clarke might be the most imaginative and actually quite a clever captain. But he is not a good motivator, the Aussies are still going through tensions in the dressing room. I believe Clarke has to get plenty of runs again this summer if Australia are going anywhere this summer. If Australia are to prepare for the future, its Clarke who has to gain the respect of all the players in the squad. I do agree Clarke being a better captain than Cook by a absolute mile, displace Clarke in England with Cook the Ashes could have won 5-0 even if Clarke were opening the innings.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

Warne reads the game better than most and should have got the job after waugh but for his personal issues. ponting was a poor captain and his results show that. Clarke has massive fitness problems and may not last much longer. since waugh, the australian setup has been disfunctional - why? retirements - sure but everybody has that problem. dhoni is also a lousy captain being flattered by some outstanding batsmen at the moment and he's not a good keeper either. it is no coincidence that SA is #1 with a captain who got the job when he was 20 or so. test success takes time, unlike instant 1 day or T20 which are both here today gone tomorrow and provide no guide to red ball ability.cook has the job long term - his win/loss record is excellent - only smith could challenge it. clarke needs to stand down, stay in the team when he is fit and a long-term prospect found.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 9:01 GMT)

There is a difference between an exciting captain and a good captain.

Clarke is exciting in the field, but has led his side through failures on the pitch, farcical divisions off the pitch and a restructuring which takes responsibility away from the captain.

Cook has led his team to essentially the second best team i the world, second only to a great SA team with a legendary captain. Bladder related incidents and KP aside, there have been few off the pitch incidents and there seems to be a unity which is missing from the Australian side.

I know I would prefer the boring captain with all the wins under his belt.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 4, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Comments that are critical of others very often say more about the speaker than the subject(s) of the criticism. Shane Warne is no exception to this observation. And what does it say about him? His ego is up & running (subtext is: I should have been Oz captain, not Punter) &, great bowler that he was, we should expect much more of SW as a highly controversal arch-analyist: the self-appointed sage of all things cricket. I can agree with his comments about Cook as England captain, but Cook has the chance to grow into the role & become a good captain, if not a great one. The upcoming series will be his most severe examination to date. The mark of a very good/ great England captain is to win in Oz.

Posted by Pathiyal on (November 4, 2013, 8:59 GMT)

Warnie just sounds like playing a halloween's day prank. those 'great' words "Cook can be negative, boring, not very imaginative - and still win and be pretty happy" - yeah!!!! it seems he dont love cricket anymore since most of the cricket lovers in the world have a different opinion when it comes to the captin Alastair Cook.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:53 GMT)

As an Englishman, I got to say that Warne, albeit the best leg spinner the world may ever see, is wrong about Clarke being a good captain, his captaincy record is abysmal, yes Clarke scores runs but he must as he is the only 'Proper' seasoned veteran of the team. Ponting has every right now talking about any player in the dressing room during his time as captain, Ponting for me was the pinnacle in captaincy for Australia, yes he may of lost the Ashes, but that doesn't make a captain, it's being the best team, reaching number one in the world and staying there, and under his captaincy for the most part until certain players retired, Australia was. Cricket Australia need to oust him.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Cook and Clarke's tactics need to be put into the context of the most recent series. Australia went in as underdogs, which gave Clarke licence to experiment. I think it is perhaps fairer to say that Cook (rightly or wrongly) thought it unnecessary to follow suit rather than that he was incapable of doing so. In a different situation I think we can expect Cook to adapt his captaincy accordingly.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:44 GMT)

Can't agree that Clarke is a great captain. Apart from allowing serious problems with team unity to fester, he basically ensured that the 3rd test of the ashes would be a draw with an awful early declaration - Starc and Haddin were thashing the bowling at will, so take them off and set England a small follow on target.. thanks mate.

Coming up with specialist field placings for players is an off-field job nowadays..

Having said that, as an England supporter I have a bad feeling about this series.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:41 GMT)

Clarke is a poor captain.. The worst aussie has seen so far.. Bailey, Watso or Warner would be a better captain than clarke.. I have never seen clarke standing up for his team mates.. The Aussie team looked great and played as a team in his absence in this India Series..

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:29 GMT)

I think that he would have preferred Hussey as VC, and I think that the Australian Team would have been far better off.

As for Captaincy ..... he is appalling!!!

He has no problem beating teams form the subcontinent on bouncy pitches, that have bowlers who are unsuited to these conditions but lets face it ..... he struggled in WI, drew against NZ, should have lost in SA, lost the unlosable against SA in Australia, 4-0 in India and 3-0 in England. PATHETIC!!!

And stop going on about the weakness of the team ... he Captains a NSW Team full of "Test Players" .... lost last year to Qld in 2012 without Harris and Tas in 2013 without half of their team.

I wish people would stop trying to defend the indefensible and look at the evidence

Posted by nv.nair85 on (November 4, 2013, 8:24 GMT)

clarke the "best" captain in the about overstatement....That too when the likes of MSD and Graeme Smith are still alive and playing....Warne as usual is in his element....a captain who does not garner the respect of all his teammates cannot be termed the best at any rate....:)

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 8:18 GMT)

I think the great Shane Warne has forgot that it was him, who dropped KP in the slip !! And we lost the match !!

Posted by Diaz54 on (November 4, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

Trust an Indian to bring Dhoni into the argument! Best captain, perhaps on Indian soil, as player yes great player....two different things. I saw him captain in England...was clueless and have millions of excuses.

Posted by Diaz54 on (November 4, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Warne wants Clarke to be a great captain...perhaps he is technically a good captain....but not a good leader. I see Clarke as a divisive figure. As to Cooke yes he lacks imagination and does not look like a leader...but he will grow into that mould,in time.

Posted by 200ondebut on (November 4, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

Ha ha ha - the old ones are always the best. Warne is just a one trick pony when it comes to commentating on the Ashes.

As for Clarke - well Ponting isn't the only one to criticise him - and all the discipline problems have been on his watch. Clarke is a poor leader. Its easy to go all in when you only have a few chips left.

Posted by punterdgr8 on (November 4, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

clarke is warnie's friend and so watever he does is always right according to warne.shaggy076 is right all that ponting said was he wasn't sure abt clarke(during his tough period,of course)being captaincy material at that point of time ,statement corroborated by hussey's version of the pup-kato spat.he surely was in 2 much haste when the others were enjoying.if ponting was jealous(utterly laughable and hilarious)then he would have talked trash abt clarke when he was "dropped" 4m the odi side in the cb series by clarke although he captained the side in his absence. warne never liked punter but it was his excellent man-management skills that catapulted warnie to deliver gold and transformed aus into the modern day "invincibles".he had too many inflated egos 2 manage in the side like warne,symmo and others yet nothing was give credit when due mr.warne.had these guys played in clarke's team,imagine d situation.jealousy,o dear!!hang on,it was never an issue of clarke v punter rit!

Posted by aahahaa on (November 4, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Captaincy is not about putting a couple of cose in feilders to someone who is known to flick everything on middle and leg and it is not also only about scoring a lot of runs. It is primarily about managing a team. Assembling you best men (Pietersen then and now Monty) to start with and bringing the best out of them time and again. Waugh and Taylor and Ponting did that. Every captain ha his style. Above allcaptains should command a certain respect, their men should be ready to slogtheir guts out for the team cause. Cook, for all his negative captaincy according to you and assorted Aussies, has a group of men who will do just thatCan you say that about Clarke

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 7:52 GMT)

Shane Warne, clinging to the spot light to this day as best he can. I'm so sick of him trying to flog off his favourite players like used cars that have been sitting in a lot for months. He will find any reason to talk about them, and then exaggerate profoundly to make them seem like the best there is, their normal deeds suddenly heroic and reality defying.

Tired has been that is only tarnishing what he did with the ball by what he's now doing once he no longer has it in his hand.

Posted by KHAANZ on (November 4, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

As a Aussie fan in general and Punter-pup fan in particular, I agree to the point of view of warne that things that happen in dressing room should not come out in public annd writing them in a book is cheap. I love punter and he has been my fav cricketer since childhood but I was disappointed to read the stuff he has written against pup, given the fact that punter was not performing for more than 3 long years and still pup was backing him up in media conferences. And Rightly said, Clarke and Dhoni are most imaginative captains right now bt ofcrs Punter`s captaincy was also better than the best. I love bailey for his heroics in the current ODI series bt I found too many loop holes in his captaincy. Ofcrs he is calm under pressure bt his field placements were questionable in every match. for eg mid-on was placed just besides the bowler yesterday when Rohit was still in his 20s, had the fielder been in his regular position that was an easy catch and i can quote many more egs like such.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 7:42 GMT)

Maybe Warne has forgotten that Clarke himself was caught by Cook at leg slip off the bowling of Root no less.

Of course Cook would never think to position himself at leg slip would he?

Posted by Albert_cambell on (November 4, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Warne was lucky to be part of a match winning team.and took a lot of tailender wickets. If he was part of the current team. Definitely he would have got thrashed.

Posted by Governor on (November 4, 2013, 7:39 GMT)

The ironic part is Shane Warne could be leaving his dream of being an Australian captain through Michael Clarke. Cricket Australia denied SK Warne his dream of captaining his country after Mark Taylor resigned in January 1999.

Michael Clarke is not a good captain off the field. Why could not he get the best out of Shane Watson from October 2011 to June 2013?

Michael Clarke is a great tactician but his people skills after 6pm and before 9am in the morning are below par. A good captain has the unique ability to understand and accept his teammates by spending one on one time with them after 6pm.

Posted by landl47 on (November 4, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Warne would have been a very good short-format captain, but I don't think he would have been a good test captain at all. He gets bored too easily and would have done stupid things just to keep himself entertained. He's always suggesting foolish notions like declaring way before it is reasonable to do so (like with more than 2 days left) just because he wants to see something more interesting than making the game safe.

He went on and on in the last test in England about captains being not afraid to lose in order to win and saying that Clarke was like that, Cook wasn't. So Clarke wasn't afraid to lose and declared and sure enough, if bad light hadn't intervened, he'd have lost. Clarke's record as captain is W 12, L 10 and he's 0-4 against England (he captained in the last game of the 2010/11 Ashes). Cook's record is W 9, L 1 and he's 3-0 against Australia.

Warney is great entertainment, but his ideas on test captaincy don't carry a whole lot of credibility.

Posted by aussieperthindian on (November 4, 2013, 7:05 GMT)

Being a captain is much easier when you have a great team ie Waugh and Ponting earlier before retirements. Much tougher to captain a mediocre side ie MS Dhoni-with a pretty lousy bowling attack. A captain brings out the best in his players and man management is critical. George Bailey has certainly earned my respect-was very humble in losses to India recently and gave praise where due. Graeme Smith has a top test side to captain making his job a lot easier. Perhaps being biased, but currently MS Dhoni would be the best captain under the circumstances he has- to manage a poor bowling unit and still achieve the success he has achieved for India. Pup is struggling as the current Australian team is a shadow of the past greats. Tough job being captain! Hope the poms get beat!! Go Australia!

Posted by IuR. on (November 4, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

Warne always comes up with some rubbish comments, and FYI Clarke is the worst ever Australian captain I have ever seen. while Cook is a very good captain, u cant say someone boring and blaa blaa blaa if he has won a test series against India in India. I don't think Micheal Clarke can do it ever. in fact he was trashed by them in recent past, Clarke is a good batsmen but a complete looser as a captain I have doubt in his abilities against good teams of the world like SA,Ind,Eng,Pak. and 1 more thing, right now best captain of the world is Dhoni, I am a Pakistani but I always love to say the truth in loud style. I am 200% sure that Australia will loose the series as they don't have enough good test batsmen in their armory to win the match, they will totally rely on their bowling.

Posted by Captain_Tuk_Tuk on (November 4, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

I agree with Warne Micheal Clarke is best captain I have ever seen. Punter was also good captain it comes in heridity of Australia I guess to produce such aggressive and attacking captains. George Baily is not anyway near to them but I am sure he'll learn. No way India would have chased 350+ twice with Clarke captaining.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

totally disagree with arne about "Clarke is the best captain" he is only adding players from NSW and leaving wonderful players from other states of Australia....Cook is more positive than Clarke and he has one of the best bowling attack and great batsmen need for Cook to be inventive...While Clarke's ideas are not helping the aussies

Posted by Ashayne79 on (November 4, 2013, 6:57 GMT)

Definitely not the best time to talk about the short comes of pup's captaincy. How ever as everybody mentioned his man-management seems to have some issues as it was obvious that pup was behind Kato and Symonds omissions. I expect an Aussie comeback in this Ashes due to the pacy and bouncy pitches and mammoth support from the home crowd. Aussie's must grab their opportunities at Gabba as its one of those grounds that they have an incredible record.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Michael Clarke might be a good captain on the field, but I don't think he's a good leader off it. Warney can put whatever spin he wants to put on it all, but there is a lot of material besides Ponting's book that would challenge the notion of Clarke being the best skipper in the world at the moment. South Africa's iron-man captain, Graeme Smith is the best in my view.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (November 4, 2013, 6:44 GMT)

Comments here are ridiculous. I know Warnie has a lot of fans, but there's no doubt he goes over the line more than most. Punter was twice the cricket Clarke will ever be, no doubt about that.

Posted by Oldpunk on (November 4, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

I think if your asked Langer, Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath who is the better captain, leader and person out of Ponting, Warne and Clarke, then Ponting would be the obvious winner. Warne seems a little bitter and jealous about the captaincy issue. Even if you put to one side all his indiscretions on and off the field over his career, you still have to question the value of his cricket opinions and judgments.

Posted by NaganandaBellur on (November 4, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

I agree with Shane Warne that whatever controversy / dispute happens in the dressing room should not be shared. I don't understand why captains do that (perhaps getting publicity???). Boards should sign up NDA from all the players.

Posted by wik8 on (November 4, 2013, 6:12 GMT)

warnie is a national treasure. never one to pull punches or keep his opinions to himself... and don't we love him for it! never change matey

Posted by tamperbay on (November 4, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

This could be jealousy from Warnie because he could have been captain instead of Punter but was overlooked because of off-field issues.

Warnie knows he would have been an all-conquering legendary captain of Australia, so it would come naturally to him to see any mistakes that Punter made.

Then again, as some point out here in this forum, it could be just Warnie doing the right thing for the Aussies by supporting Clarke. As an Aussie supporter II'm all for that, and I hope Clarke can lead Australia to an Ashes victory and really give it to the smug Poms, but I think Clarke as captain (in combination with the team manager/coach etc) has made some mistakes in man management off the field (eg Katich and Symonds) and maybe doesn't have the ideal personality for the job. However I imagine that he has learnt and improved in this area and I think he can get even better at it.

Even better than that would be for George Bailey to come good in tests and get given the captaincy.

Posted by PrasPunter on (November 4, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

Why dont we for a change stop this stuff from the ex-players and let Pup and his team focus on the important assignment before us ? Do you think Pup and his team need to face more than 11 men on the field ? Please spare a thought for the team. You shall write all those stuff on your books and earn a few dollars later. For the time being, let the focus be on the field - dont care what Warne feels for Punter or what Punter's opinions on Clarke are. Focus please !! Dont want to see another Ashes defeat.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:56 GMT)

Pup is a great player, no doubt; but a lousy Captain! His 'man-management' capabilities are suspect. It is the Pup-Mickey Combo which slowed down the transition to a new era for OZ cricket, after the retirement of many of their greats.

Many players who were not playing to their potential under Pup are playing very well under a better man-manager like Bailey. Watto is not the only example. Look at the way, Faulkner has flowered into perhaps one of the best all-rounders in contemporary cricket. Finch is yet another example. Whether a few of them played under Pup or not is immaterial for my argument; the fact the a good 'man-manger' can get MORE than the POTENTIAL from his players is what matters; which is NOT the case with Pup!

It's a pity that Bailey is not a great player in OZ pitches!

Posted by ShutTheGate on (November 4, 2013, 5:54 GMT)

@ Marlon 14. There is no way that Ponting was the best captain of all time. There's no way he compares to Don Bradmans invivncibles or Steve Waughs dominators.

Posted by dunger.bob on (November 4, 2013, 5:52 GMT)

Warnie should write his own book. An appropriate title might be "Still spinning it hard".

I'm looking forward to years of sniper attacks from Warne. It'll keep things interesting.

Posted by marlon17 on (November 4, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

this is really joke from Shane Warne.. how cm Clark is better than Ponting..? Ponting was the best captain in all time... Also at the moment Greaem Smith is the best captain in the world...

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

One time i have to disagree with Warne.... Pup is not the best captain in the world..!! very easily, it is MS Dhoni...!!!!

Posted by JoeySpiggs on (November 4, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

Warney has hit the nail on the head here. ponting had sucess early due to the names around him, but still went on to lose 3 ashes as well as lose a home series vs RSA, the first to do so. post 2009 he hung around, rarely making contributions with the bat and mismanaging player relations in the dressing room, clearly. His comments were mistimed and poor considering he was somewhat of a mentor to clarke. throwback to the present, and clarkes captaincy has the touch of genius that can only be inspired by a relationship with a genius, in this case S.K Warne himself.

there is no pressure on michael clarke. his batting is world class, and stands out head and shoulders above the rest in a side that fails to get out of its "20/20 mantra" of dealing with test match cricket. Quoting cricinfo, he has done more patch up jobs than a "workaholic plasterer" on this side, but eventually, the cost of yesteryears mismanaging of youth came back to bite us.

Seeya's in brisbane!

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Good old Warnie. He is an Aussie patriot thru and thru. You never criticize your current captain publicly (specially days before an important season). By supporting PuP thru and thru, he did what Ponting should have done -- try to instill confidence into a fragile Aussie team. By calling out COok, he did what any Aussie would have - typical bash the Pom captain before an Ashes. So /respect for Warne for doing the right thing. He might not be right. But he is right in rooting for his home side.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Very timely by Warne .. not for its content but generally, Clark needed some backing. Avid Australian fans are pretty disappointed that punter had to say demoralizing stuff about Clark just before the ashes. So if anything, Warne has stepped up to make the right noise. Im sure Warne couldnt care less if his 'analysis' was right or wrong but just wanted to add to Clarks confidence.

Posted by smudgeon on (November 4, 2013, 5:20 GMT)

As fine a cricketer as Warne was, since he's retired he rarely offers anything that other people haven't already said, and often what he does say seems more designed to get a little publicity than for any genuine concern for cricket. Would love if he took up a coaching position with CA...they could do with a little more of that Warne, and less of this Warne.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

Seriously Warne...? Ponting was a champion and if PUP is as good as Punter then why there are so many controversies in his era of Captaincy and no doubt Clarke is a mast class, but Ponting was a fighter he takes the battle to him self and leads from the front. Talking about calmness of Cook I think that is the key due to which not only he avoids the controversies in side dressing room also maintain good relations with his team mates.

Posted by Naren on (November 4, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Michael Clarke, was woefully out of form under Ponting's captaincy. As soon as Ponting gave up his captaincy, we was playing amazing. Clarke never took any responsibilities probably, but was expecting a lot when Shane Watson became the vice captain. I have a feeling that Ponting felt the reason to write was because of the Homework thing maybe. Clarke had his grudge against Simon Katich and the list will go on. I get a feeling Warne was more jealous of lot of guys like Steve Waugh, Ponting. I would feel Ponting was more genuine than Clarke to his team mates any day.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

warne is no doubt my fav and a legend, bt he doesnt kw wt hpnd behind the scenes bcoz ponting was referring to clarke's attitude after his retirement for a brief period.. plus clarke may be imaginative a captain, bt he is no saint of a leader bcoz he couldnt patch up with an in form katich who cldve been beneficial for the aussies.. warne is a lot closer to clarke than punter thats y his opinion is such. agree with punter in this case.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Jesus Warnie, There is backing your mate and then there is this...Its really appalling to hear such biased views from one of the best cricketers century. Everyone is aware that Warnie wanted the captaincy job, and I remember Ricky saying in an interview that it would be him or Gilly who were "captain material", and I dont think many disagree there. Clarke is a much better on-field captain then Ricky was but Ricky was a leader of men. I honestly dont see much of that from Clarke maybe because now the leadership in Australian cricket is managed another 20 people.

Posted by gsingh7 on (November 4, 2013, 4:59 GMT)

watever warne says does not matter because at the end of day aus will lose 4th ashes in a row. clarke alone cannot score 400 runs everytime. rest of batting is mediocre to say the least. england batsmen will crush aus bowlers with their defence. lots of draws are expected .

Posted by ozwin on (November 4, 2013, 4:54 GMT)

how come bailey is better captain than clarke ?? aus made 350+ scores twice and still lost.. just bcos he scored runs leading from front on indian road pitches doesnt make him a good captain

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 4:48 GMT)

Wonder if the Doug is to old for a comeback?

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 4:41 GMT)

This is laughable...Michael Clarke is a better captain than Ricky Ponting? I'm sorry, Warnie is a legend but this statement does not cut any ice with me....Serious followers of the game will note that over the past few years Shane has shown a desperate craving for the limelight...a craving he seeks to fulfill by making controversial and publicity seeking statements now and then. Ponting might have lost 3 Ashes test series but no one can deny that he lead Australia with aplomb during the latter half of their 'Invincible' phase. Clarke on the other hand seems to be one of those captains who's all smoke and no fire....his team's performances rarely seem to match his public pronouncements ....The little chirp about Cook was one of Warnie's standard pre-Ashes rants...Sadly, the quality of his sledging seems to have declined, like everything else about him...

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

If achievement speaks for the performance,then in no way clarke is the best captain in the world at the moment in tests.Clarke has just lost ashes,while Graeme Smith,South African captain,has been phenomenol in drawing d series after being down 1-0 against pakistan,by scoring a double hundred for his team in the absence of Hashim Amla..

Posted by satishchandar on (November 4, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

I don't know whether Punter is right or wrong.. But to write about a player playing currently even if not for Ashes like that is completely unwanted and needless..

Posted by Shaggy076 on (November 4, 2013, 4:25 GMT)

I haven't read the book but as far as Im aware all Ponting has said about Clarke is during the Bingle years he had doubts that he could be the Australian captain and as vice-captain he seemed disinterested. He has never attacked Clarke's captaincy or his batting skills. Have I missed something that Ponting actually wrote that was unfairly critical of Clarke. What did Ponting say that was so bad?

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

McCullum is the most inventive and imaginative captain at the moment. NZ's fielding performances show that. They continue to lose because of the lack of batting talent in their line-up.

Fair play to Warnie however, what he says is agreeable

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

WARNE is nt right...

Posted by nzcricket174 on (November 4, 2013, 4:04 GMT)

Bailey is a better captain than Clarke. Also McCullum is a better tactician than Clarke too.

Posted by bharath74 on (November 4, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Gareth Bailey is a better captain than Clarke. It will be good if Australia make him the captain in all formats, Australian team will be formidable, plus it removes pressure of Clarke.

Posted by   on (November 4, 2013, 3:38 GMT)

Well written and well said Warnie...... Ponting became Strauss by criticizing his own team mate.

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (November 4, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

I totally agree with Warne here. Ponting is a legendary batsman and has a great captaincy record but he shouldn't have said anything about Clarke. That is in the past. As for Clarke's captaincy, I also agree its the best in the world. His creativity is amazing and unmatched, the only thing i fault him for is influencing the phasing out of match winners like Katich who would have made his captaincy record look way better. Cook on the other hand is not really a thinking captain. Recently he has become way too defensive in his batting with a strike rate under 40 and also his field placings. Fortunately he has 7 proven match winners in Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Prior, Swann, Anderson and Broad. If Cook and Clarke were to switch teams i guarantee that Cook would be pelted by the public and former players while Clarke would be praised as a genius.

Anyway, although it has become way too frequent (once every 3 years would be good) and sub-standard (since late 2000s), let's enjoy the Ashes.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (November 4, 2013, 3:34 GMT)

That's a low blow, Clarke will never score as many runs as Ponting, never will score as many hundreds, never will play as many games, don't see how he could be jealous.

The fact that Clarke is Warnie's little boy is quite scary, having Warnie's radical ideas up top can't be good from my point of view. People say he would have been a good captain, i'm not so sure.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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