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Ponting was overburdened - Buchanan

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 25, 2011

Comments: 43 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting reacts to a misfield, India v Australia, 2nd quarter-final, Ahmedabad, World Cup 2011, March 24, 2011
Ricky Ponting has been overburdened by people in formal leadership roles in Australian cricket says John Buchanan © AFP
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Players/Officials: John Buchanan | Ricky Ponting
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Australia

John Buchanan, the former Australia coach, has said Ricky Ponting has been let down by people in leadership roles in Australian cricket, leaving him overburdened. Ponting's role as captain is to lead the team by example, he said, not preoccupy himself with off-field matters.

"We saw that last night," Buchanan told AAP, referring to Ponting's quarter-final ton against India. "He was able to direct his energies towards one game. All thinking about developing the side and building a culture, selections here and selections there, were irrelevant. That is what he is capable of doing when his attention is rightly directed.

"Ricky still has an incredible amount to offer Australian cricket, but he has to be in the right frame of mind to do that," Buchanan said. "For the last 18 months or so that hasn't been the case because he has, in a sense, tried to take on too much responsibility for the whole team."

Ponting was at the receiving end of much criticism in the lead-up to the game against India, one of the reasons being his lack of form. He led Australia to two straight World Cup wins but was also captain during his team's Ashes defeats in 2005, 2009 and early this year in Australia. Amid calls for his resignation as captain after the World Cup and, in some quarters, retirement, Ponting struck form with a determined century in the quarter-final, but it proved inadequate as Australia were knocked out of the competition. Buchanan said Ponting's time at the helm was made difficult by some people around him.

"I'm disappointed with people around him, who have allowed him to do that [be overburdened]. That has contributed to making life very difficult for him in the [leadership] role." Buchanan refrained from naming the people he believed to be behind Ponting's problems, but said it is 'people in other formal leadership roles in and around the team'.

"I think there is a range of other people who relied on him to do more of the other work - building a team, building a culture, looking at selection - which are things that he has felt very personally involved with. But those things have been much bigger than he anticipated I think and he should not have been allowed to burden himself with it."


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Posted by Goutham on (March 26, 2011, 19:13 GMT)

There is something seriously wrong with Australian cricket, I am not sure what, but looking at some of the comments coming from some Aussie Veterans, I am worried that we will have another cricketing giant going the Windies way and that would be devastating for Cricket. Cricket has never been a truly global game and its the countries like Australia and England who give it some global significance. if these nations fade away, it will all be a bunch of sub continental nations along with SAF, hopefully, and that will definitely sound death knell for the game. I hope Aussie cricket revives and retains its old glory (not to the extent of sheer dominance though), and Cricket is given a fresh lease of life.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 26, 2011, 14:11 GMT)

The problem with cricket is that the fans don't get what they deserve. Pointing just made a 100 and he is fit y the press need him to retired or stripped of the captaincy. Same with Steve Waugh and now West indies coach pressuring Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Gyale to leave. Holy not forgetting Brian Lara these men still have so much cricket in them y force them to leave. Look at Base bal A-Rod always out of form {7 games to make 1 home run} but he plays because the fans still come out to c him on the feild. If young players not getting a chance then increase the number of ODI games in a series and reduse the Test games. Have the players of both teams rotate playing during games like Base ball. ICC need to look how other sports rise to the top.....and only the fans can do that so give the fans that.

Posted by Naj on (March 26, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

He is talking about current Australian coach, taking shot at his replacement, well done?

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 26, 2011, 7:21 GMT)

I agree with Mr. Buchanan observation. How much one man can take? We all know how badly Tendulkar's game affected when he was leading the Indian team. Ricky the batsman- there is no question he is the greatest Australian run machine after Bradman. When he had the match winning bowlers, we all saw his batting excellence. Repeated failures of the bowlers to take wickets and failure of so called replacement batsmen at the crucial times just adds to the pressure If Ricky Ponting retires now, the Australian team will be like current WI .So we all wish Ricky Ponting to continue for few more years. Ricky Ponting the batsman has lot to offer for the benefit of Australian cricket.

Posted by Glen on (March 26, 2011, 7:09 GMT)

Continued :::::::: Australia cannot leave their legacy of playing punter by not having him as a captain...he has a secret desire of reaching tendulkar records... In australian cricket we give more importance to team win and dominance rather than personal records..... If selectors really wants to dominate world cricket...they need to bring youth in to the squad and re-build this austrian side..Tait should concentrate on line and lengh rather than pace..he was all over the place...

Posted by Saket on (March 26, 2011, 4:49 GMT)

Now after the defeat, the Australians are trying to find excuses. The same system which produced the world beaters, now can not take the responsibility of producing sub standard cricketers. Australia is now a team which looks for individual brilliances rather than a team effort.

Posted by Kushal on (March 26, 2011, 4:30 GMT)

agreed brah. Totally agreed he has too much pressure

Posted by ruchin on (March 26, 2011, 1:07 GMT)

Ricky's talent should be obvious to anyone who must have seen his ton in the current world cup. Selectors & the other people who are responsible for cricket in Australia should learn now from Sachin. Ricky like Sachin should be freed to focus on his batting & they should groom a new captain who can take the team to the next era. Ricky will be class act in his capacity as a batsman & a mentor for youngsters in the team & will provide a strong central figure around whom batting can be built.Ricky should not be allowed to be wasted. If Australia wishes to once again dominate cricket then a new captain with Ricky as a batsman is what they should be looking at.

Posted by Jason on (March 26, 2011, 0:41 GMT)

yes my thoughts exactly ponting has been playing like a player under intense pressure and in five years time when ricky releases his autobiography i expect to see him dumping on the selectors and ca administraters over the last year

Posted by david on (March 25, 2011, 23:03 GMT)

Ponting one of Australia best , but his time is up.if the aussies are going to struggle for a few years in whatever type of cricket then they need a new captain .dpk

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 22:37 GMT)


Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 22:24 GMT)


Posted by Warrick on (March 25, 2011, 22:19 GMT)

Here here! It's about time that someone influential has stated this publicly & put his name to the article! Can John Buchanan go on the review comittee to break up the tea party?

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 20:35 GMT)

I want to know the exact thoughts in the Ponting's head when he was "kissing" the ground.

I think criticism on him is bit unfair. He can't bowl for the team. The thing is that without Gillespie, McGrath, Warne, the killer sting in the bowling has long gone, yet Aussies continue to dominate the world of cricket. This testifies the greatness of Ponting-the-leader.

Posted by Doddasadenahalli on (March 25, 2011, 19:37 GMT)

Hi there, Tim neilson. would you take your words back now that your team has been beaten fair and square in spite of valiant effort from punter. You seemed to do verbal batting to send indian team spinning, on the eve of the match and result proved you wrong. Now that aura has evaporated into thin air and punter's ambition to hold onto the trophy (might have snatched it from Sharad pawar again!! like he did in the past) left him high and dry finding excuses. I must appreciate him saying that his team is far better team than what the result shows, still in trance perhaps. He is a great player I agree, but when warnie, mcgrath are out retired, his trio speedsters were not able to pull it off. it is time to say goodbye to punter.

Posted by Arvind on (March 25, 2011, 18:55 GMT)

Punter is a legendary batsman. He will answer them all with his willow. Thought his off field arrogance puts me off, it doesn't come in the way of appreciating him for what he is best at. Good Luck, Ricky - I'm sure you will be BACK!!!

Posted by venu on (March 25, 2011, 18:42 GMT)

Now u all know why Tendulkar failed as a captain. I don't think Steve Waugh is any better. Mark Taylor is much better than waugh and ponting.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

haddin as Skipper! Clarke is not a good long choice for skipper of Oz team

Posted by kumar on (March 25, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Play with good spirit and whole world will respect you. Despite their incredible cricket talent for example Brett lee, Ricky Ponting and very good allround performance I never liked to praise their performance since they like to follow negative approach. As far as I know they always treated cricket as mind game and now this is the reaction. Example was India's Australia tour in 2008. Next is before this QF match AUS coach Tim Nielsen gave some stupid mind gaming statements on India just to overcome their pressure of course those statement didn't work on Indian players. But I am unable to resist myself in applauding Ricky for his great performance with his ton. That had once again shown his dedication for the game.Also Brett Lee.

Posted by Steve on (March 25, 2011, 16:50 GMT)

Even as an England fan it is sad to see the Aussies out of this world cup.... but I'll get over it! The Ashes signalled the end of an era and this has been re-enforced by the World Cup. I'm sure that the Aussies will bounce back but the loss of Warne has so much significance to the Aussie attack. This guy was probably the best spin bowler ever to play the game and any side (ABSOLUTELY ANY SIDE) would miss such a class act. For now the playing field has been leveled and in many ways world cricket is better for it. With SA losing to NZ the path to winning the cup has been made easier for a strugging and eratic England. Time for change in Australia and the rebuilding process needs to start immiediately! Good luck Australia and as Bob Hope would say..... "thanks for the memories"!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 16:41 GMT)

Why all this criticism from the coach is coming after Australia lost matches one after the other. Why couldn't he highlight this problem before the World Cup?... I believe this is not going to provide any consolation to Australian Cricket Team's lackluster performance in the World Cup.

Posted by Alex on (March 25, 2011, 16:40 GMT)

Correct. I am not sure michael clarke is the future. Aussie team lack talent except watson who is more utility cricketer. Aussie needs few century maker at the top. Using brad hadding and watson open is not a good idea but they have no one else. Middle order for aussie is awful. Michael clarke play well when he has good talent surround him. Basically he can play well only in less pressure condition. Without ponting this can not make enough runs to defend.

Posted by Kedar on (March 25, 2011, 16:13 GMT)

I agree with Mr. Buchanan that Ponting was overburdened. I even agree that he can channel his energy well if he wants to. But the crisis, according to me, that Australian board is facing is "who if not Ponting". I cannot see Michael Clarke in his shoes as he has shown time and again that he is not an effective captain. Haddin according to me might be the man, but again am not sure of his leadership qualities. There is no way Hussey (the older one) with his current form will be asked to do this. Finally, Steven Smith is a good prospect and he should be looked upon and developed as a specialist leggie than an all-rounder. He will be able to bat in crisis situatuions, given his current batting skills. A quality leg spinner is what aussies need. We all know off spin does not work on Australian pitches.

Posted by Rohan on (March 25, 2011, 14:57 GMT)

What NONSENSE. Ponting has failed routinely since 2007/8. It is NOT a recent thing. Ponting has had 4/5 good years from 2003-2007/8. The rest of his career has been good to mediocre. Everyone is just building him up overly.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 14:16 GMT)

He showed just why he has been one of the Best Batsman in the last decade along with Tendulkar and Kallis. Fine Innings under pressure. True captain's knock.. Hardly gave the opposition a chance and at the same time played some smart cricketing shots using his feet well and playing straight on a wicket that had less bounce and pace. He failed to get any constant support from the top or middle order, Thus failing to really capitalize on his extended stay on the wicket and play the bigger shots. Wicket of Michael Hussey for me was the turning point.

I feel he still has a 2 more years of International Cricket left in him. People will say retire from ODIs and let the younger guys take over. I ask why? He still has the technique to play at the highest level.. Last evening's match was an example. None of the current players have been 'good enough' if not 'better' to replace him.

He should be allowed to play as a pure batsman, not captain and give time to refocus on his batting.

Posted by Bala on (March 25, 2011, 14:15 GMT)

Mr. Buchannan: ur comments are so naive...the truth of the matter is Ponting is not winning matches and this has put enormous pressure on his batting which has gone spirally downwards...matter ends here...

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 14:04 GMT)

Too right. Ponting was angry and frustrated. That was TOO visible from the start of this world cup. Perhaps this will teach the 'higher ups' a lesson. Ponting is a great player and it would be a real shame if cricket Australia remove him. Give the guy the respect he deserves!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

What you will tell about Tendulkar , he was performing over the years under pressure.There was no much big stars in indian team to turn the match around to relieve the pressure of sachin.Every time he walks out all indians think , he will win the match for India.Now ponting is struggling because, there are no more Hayden,Gilchrist,Vaugh,symond,Macgrath,Warn,Gillesspy etc.Its easy to perform when so many greats are in the team.I will say Ponting is a good player in this era.

Posted by Saint on (March 25, 2011, 13:35 GMT)

True. I Agree With John. He's Overburdened & Lacked the Support From Top to Bottom. It's Hard for a Great Cricketer to Score Runs, Lead The Team, Build a Team & Develop the Side..

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 13:26 GMT)

Aren't Aussies the ones who say that you cannot buckle under pressure? Why this lament?? In the last paragraph, Buchanan makes it clear that Ponting took some wrong decisions about the load he can handle. How can a person who cannot estimate his work load become a good captain? Does not make sense. In all other professions, the person who does this kind of a mistake would get a rap on their knuckle. Why not Ponting??

Posted by Rajaram on (March 25, 2011, 13:24 GMT)

Did Allan Border receive the SAME amount of flak as we have seen Ricky Ponting receiving since the The Ashes 2006 -07,which is akin to the time the three significant retirements of Rodney Marsh (read Adam Gilchrist),Greg Chappell(read Damien Martyn),Dennis Lillee (read Glenn McGrath) took place? Inspite of the flak, Ponting has marshalled his scarce resorces remarkably to beat South Africa IN South Africa 2 -1. No captain conquered India till Adam Gilchrist in 2004,and dust bowl wickets like Mumbai were hardly a true test.How about the 5 nil wallloping that Ricky Ponting and his Team gave England in 2006 -07.Forgotten already?

Posted by Ravi on (March 25, 2011, 13:11 GMT)

Ah well rightly said!!!! Well who else can that be but the famously INFAMOUS Gregory Chappell. Remember the Ganguly episode during his stint with the Indian team when he wanted him to be out and then he got what he wanted by coming in front of the media this time though, since hes an Aussie too he avoided it. Alas the last time India went to the world cup it came back in the first round itself but this time its Ricky's tough cheek-in-the-mouth approach that has made them scrape through the quarters. Well done Greg. Whoever wants to doom their team go to Greg, you will never be so bogged down ever in your life without him. He lets the spirit of a person and the whole team come down to earth crashing

Posted by Big on (March 25, 2011, 13:09 GMT)

I am not sure this is correct cause its just Pointing's personality to dominate and he may have asked for more responsibilities after winning two world cups. Why blame others for your own failure, just accept the facts and move on. Australia needs to rebuild, and now is the right time.

Posted by LAXMIKANT on (March 25, 2011, 13:01 GMT)

Excuses !!!...why cant they accept that Australia is on the wane.....

Posted by shahid on (March 25, 2011, 12:55 GMT)

Buchanan is spot on but one other factor he didn't mention is the inability of the players which Ponting is leading. A man used to have Gilchrist, Hyden, Warne and McGrath is left with 2nd class players. His lack of form is not due to his physical condition, age or lack of technique but rather a psychological matter arising out of burden of things mentioned by Buchanan and the players whom he can't count on, and the biggest gap left after Warnes departure.

Posted by Shahzad on (March 25, 2011, 12:31 GMT)

It has been an Australian Monopoly with Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting capping Aussie side, when they won WCs 3 in a row, the kind of monopoly and consistancy no other team in the world had ever displayed.. But it looks like this era of Aussie Monopoly in World Cups have come to an abrupt end with teams like India, SA, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan evolving into teams which can defeat any other team in the world.. The sight of Ricky Ponting - the man who lead his side with courage, stooping down in the aftermath of a WC QF defeat is disheartening to see for someone who loves the game, even when I am a diehard Indian Supporter.. Me, on behalf of all Indians salute the true hero in World Cricket, Ricky Ponting.. He has to and will remain a BraveHeart in World Cricket.. His journey has not ended.. There are very few in the league of master performers who are currently playing international cricket - I can think of only 3 - Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Jacques Kallis..

Posted by chirag on (March 25, 2011, 12:23 GMT)

One cant just say that!!! All this while Ponting lead a team that was full of match winner...Warne,Gilchrist,Langer,Hayden,McGrath....We didnt mention about burden then...He is burdened now as runs from his willow are not free flowing any more...We do have match winners in the Aus team but none even close to the ones mentioned above...I would say accept defeat graciously...Ponting did that at the presentation ceremony....leading a bunch of match winners and leading a bunch of wanna be match winner are 2 different ball games!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 12:19 GMT)

ponting is the leader ,master ,and an incredible batsmen.........many players have there bad days and ponting is having his bad days..................surely he will overcome his bad days

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 12:18 GMT)

Its an unforgiving world. Ponting has been an accomplished cricketer, both as a player and leader. He has been a phenominal performer and one of the strongest pillars of Australian cricket. I really feed bad for him for having been let down by ACB and Australian press. All that negative propaganda and critism during an event as impotant as the wortld cup must have put enormous pressure on him. He alongwith the whole Australian team needed support at that time, which could have lifted them. I would really like to know what contribution have ACB and the Australian press made to Australian cricket? I hold the ACB and the Australian press responsible for the downfall of the Australian team.

Posted by chirag on (March 25, 2011, 12:15 GMT)

Just cant say he was overburdened!!!All this while Ponting lead a team that was full of match winners(Warne,Hayden,Gilchrist,Langer etc) and now when they are gone ppl talk of him being over burdened.He may be overburdened but that because runs we not flowing from his willow.It is as simple as that.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 25, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

well said Buchanan, selection was not good, White & Smith could not perform well and Aussies weak point was their bowling. Aussies lost due spin bowlers. Ponting himself is a great player with immense talent of batting and leadership. I have been watching him since 1996 and he has greatly entertained cricket world. He still can play for 2 to 4 years in Onedays and Tests. Good luck for in future.

Posted by Luke on (March 25, 2011, 11:58 GMT)

Couldn't agree more, hope that if anything good comes out of this loss for Australia it is Ponting's return to form and a seriously change in culture and management.

Posted by NEDUNCHEZHIAN on (March 25, 2011, 11:50 GMT)

Punter don't worry too much you have done your country proud by playing for your country and not for personal milestones so far in your career that itself is a proof that you are a great player.

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