April 26, 2009

The one-captain theory

The recent Super Over result illustrates just why having multiple leaders doesn't wash
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The game of cricket has an amazing capacity to voice an opinion in subtle ways. It did so in the frenetic confrontation that followed the first ever IPL tie.

The nail-biting finish resulted in a Super Over shootout between the Rajasthan Royals, the classic one-man-in-charge team, and the Kolkata Knight Riders, a side currently experimenting with the concept of multiple leaders. Not surprisingly, the mercurial Royals' captain, Shane Warne, opted for a daring ploy. He bowled a tyro in the drama-filled situation - Kamran Khan, who eventually prevailed over the Knight Riders' internationally acclaimed Ajantha Mendis.

It's worth pondering the machinations that led to Warne anointing Kamran to bowl the match-deciding over to a highly explosive Chris Gayle.

A good leader empowers his players; he endows them with the confidence to believe in their own ability and to be prepared to take a risk. When Warne opted to bowl Kamran for only one over in an IPL trial match in Cape Town (so as to not advertise the unorthodox slinger's attributes), he empowered his player. Here was a complete unknown being paid a huge compliment by his captain, one of the best bowlers the game has ever seen. If Warne correctly judged Kamran's temperament, he was assured of that extra effort from the tyro in an hour of need.

Before they reached the Super Over stage, Kamran had already repaid his skipper's faith by taking three wickets in the innings, including the crucial one of Sourav Ganguly in the final, desperate over. Having then been awarded the onerous task of bowling the Super Over, Kamran had two choices: to wilt or raise his game. Warne had seen something in his young bowler that led him to believe it would be the latter.

Compare that style of management with the Knight Riders', where they nominate a captain but extol the virtues of multiple leadership. In Kamran's case he knows he's been anointed by Warne, but Mendis could easily be wondering if he was chosen in a split vote by a committee.

Imagine the discussion in the Knight Rider's camp. First, Brendon McCullum asks Gayle: "Who do you think should bowl?" And then he asks Ganguly and Brad Hodge and anyone else who might either have been co-opted onto the committee or wandered past at the appropriate time and voiced an opinion.

At times of high tension on a cricket field the last thing a captain needs is to have his train of thought derailed by input from three co-captains

Eventually McCullum hands the ball to Mendis. After watching the consultation process Mendis is entitled to ask, as an Indian batsman once did when he was selected to replace an injured team-mate against an Australian Test side that included Jeff Thomson: "Why me?" Any doubts Mendis might have harboured about succeeding in such a pressure-cooker situation would have been elevated the moment he was handed the ball after a committee meeting.

Kamran on the other hand had already been empowered by Warne before the tournament started. Now here was his illustrious skipper maintaining his faith with a gesture that screamed loudly: "I believe you can win us this match."

Warne had the advantage of having already attained right royal miracle-worker status for Rajasthan. Once a team believes a captain can guide them home in a tight situation, there's a fair chance it'll become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Warne succeeds more often than not in tense situations because he's brave enough to seek victory rather than wait for it to come knocking on his door.

In the case of the Knight Riders' multiple-leadership experiment, the players aren't exactly sure who is putting faith in their ability. Is it McCullum alone or was it decided by a split vote?

At times of high tension on a cricket field the players look to the captain to show them a successful way through the fog. That calls for a clear and positive thinking leader. At such a crucial time the last thing a captain needs is to have his train of thought derailed by input from three co-captains.

The Super Over shootout emphasises the need for a team to have a strong-minded man in charge; one man. Or at least that's the way the cricket gods appeared to want it in Cape Town.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mrzeal on April 28, 2009, 9:21 GMT

    Ohh dear, cant believe Ian Chappel is saying all this; I didn't realize it was him until I saw one of the comments.

    It almost sounded like one of those over stretched scenes in one of the tv serials. firstly, it is 100% speculation and fluff as Ian didnt give us any insights into what his source of information was and in his own words, he was just guessing what the conversation would have been.

    All that fluff from Ian after we already got the info from the captains themselves, Warne ("I thought about myself & Yusuf as spin options and decided on Kamran as he just bowled a great last over") & McCullum ("Mendis was raring to have a go and I didn't have to look for someone else" ).

    Very disappointing and unfortunate that an article like this was even published; Hope the editors does some sort of review next time they receive similar articles...

  • Go_F.Alonso on April 28, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Anybody knows who the 'Why me?' guy was?

  • crocker on April 28, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    Chappell has made a valid point against the multiple captains theory citing a recent example to support it. Rules of cricket do not support it since the penalties for slow over rate are to be borne by the nominated single captain (captain going for the toss?). Anyway, multiple captain theory has been in practice till now when the captain solicited opinion from other team members. Buchanan should have taken the responsibility of gathering opinions of so called special captains and conveyed the final decision to nominated captain as part of coach's responsibility. Too many cooks spoil the broth!!!

  • nashdwaj on April 28, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    Since we are talking about captaincy and leadership, I want to add my take on what makes Shane Warne a great captain and why KP is not able to display great leadership capabilities at this stage. By the looks of it, i.e on TV, I tend to think Shane Warne genuinely want to help the domestic cricketers to become great. We all know how much he has helped YK pathan, Jadeja. He genuinely wants to give them his expertise and has raised their confidence to new levels. In the case of KP, I feel he is not there personally, emotionally where he is secure with his ego to be able to whole heartedly be able to play mentor or coach role to younger players of RCB. There are many ingredients that goes to a successful captain, if they are younger players with not much experience captain has to play the coach or mentor role, for experienced internationals you have to able to listen, delegate. Also in the case of Mccullum he just does not have authority (given and taken) to be successful.

  • nashdwaj on April 28, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    I do not agree with this example that Ian Chappell has chosen to blow holes in the Multiple Captain theory. But I agree that Multiple captaincy theory does not work. One man should have complete leadership responsibility and authority. Even in the case of Shane Warne, Ian Chappell should not forget that he consulted with Graeme Smith, YK Pathan and many team members before taking the decisions that was taken. It depends on the style of leadership that works for your team. In the IPL where the team members are from various countries and are quite good at what they do, generally the captain should be strong with good charisma, knowledge of the game and shrewd and also be able be consultative and make decisions on his own and also take responsibilities on this own. In some cases, leadership can be delegated example may be bowling captain and fielding captain to those experts to share responsibility. But still ultimately captain is the main man.

  • wizman on April 28, 2009, 3:37 GMT

    What we are talking about here is the difference between "Who wants to bowl the SuperOver and try to win it?" and "I believe you are the man to bowl this over and win it!"

    Not sure it has much to do with a captain or a committee.

    Ultimately the captain wears the decision, regardless of how it was made. It is up to the captain to decide the process: inclusive, exclusive, committee, or whatever. When the coach gets sacked because of the captain's decision, then they can tell the captain what to do and how to do it.

  • sjavvadi on April 27, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    I do not entirely agree with Mr. Chappell. What happened was a simple mistake in decision making for that one match and has nothing to with one captain or multiple captains. All that had to be realized by the Knight Riders was that one of the batsmen would be YK Pathan and he's an excellent player of spin and the over should have been given to Ishant or someone else. Doing all this over analysis just to post an article is ridiculous and plain exaggeration. All this "reading between the lines" makes me roll my eyes.

  • plumbunion on April 27, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    Another typical Ian Chappell article - forthright and relevant. I agree with the main theme of the article that cricket is a one-man-in-charge game. However, I am not convinced that the super over really drives home the point of the article. Shane Warne announced Kamran Khan as a bowler to reckon with, even before he had bowled a ball. The KKR team management made Ajantha Mendis warm the benches the entire first season of the IPL. He then famously went on to dismantle the Indian top order in the test series in Sri Lanka. And therein lies the difference. On the day, prior to the super over being bowled, both Kamran and Mendis did a fantastic job. So the decision to ask them to bowl was almost the default. Anyone with a sensible head would have asked Kamran to bowl, given that he had just prevailed over one of the game's veterans in Saurav Ganguly. The fact that Kamran was able to keep his chin up despite being carted in the super over, speaks volumes of Warne's influence as a captain.

  • anoopbal on April 27, 2009, 2:38 GMT

    It all depends on the situation.

    You cannot conclude that one captain theory was successful just by looking at one single match and one single over. That's just poor way to come to conclusions and a great example of people jumping on to conclusions based on their biases. Tendulkar is best because he proved that in over 300-400 matches not just from one single match.

  • kgashok on April 27, 2009, 2:36 GMT

    One-captain or many co-captains? The short, simple, elementary answer is the much cliched response: It depends.

    It depends upon the captain. It depends upon the talent/capabilities available in the team that you are leading. It depends upon the followership quotient in the team. It depends upon what you want to achieve. "Success is not an option" - is that the clear message coming from the owners?

    Pose those perspectives to the situation at hand and it becomes obvious: One captain theory is what will maximize results for Shane Warne/Royals. Many-captain theory is what will maximize results for Buchanan/McCullum/KKR.

    How such elementary common sense is lost on people like Gavaskar and Chappell beats me. But then, if they make us belief that this is so elementary they obviate the very need for an article such as this. So is the case for 20,000+ management/leadership books that get published every year. So we will live and let them live as well.

    QED.

  • mrzeal on April 28, 2009, 9:21 GMT

    Ohh dear, cant believe Ian Chappel is saying all this; I didn't realize it was him until I saw one of the comments.

    It almost sounded like one of those over stretched scenes in one of the tv serials. firstly, it is 100% speculation and fluff as Ian didnt give us any insights into what his source of information was and in his own words, he was just guessing what the conversation would have been.

    All that fluff from Ian after we already got the info from the captains themselves, Warne ("I thought about myself & Yusuf as spin options and decided on Kamran as he just bowled a great last over") & McCullum ("Mendis was raring to have a go and I didn't have to look for someone else" ).

    Very disappointing and unfortunate that an article like this was even published; Hope the editors does some sort of review next time they receive similar articles...

  • Go_F.Alonso on April 28, 2009, 9:19 GMT

    Anybody knows who the 'Why me?' guy was?

  • crocker on April 28, 2009, 6:43 GMT

    Chappell has made a valid point against the multiple captains theory citing a recent example to support it. Rules of cricket do not support it since the penalties for slow over rate are to be borne by the nominated single captain (captain going for the toss?). Anyway, multiple captain theory has been in practice till now when the captain solicited opinion from other team members. Buchanan should have taken the responsibility of gathering opinions of so called special captains and conveyed the final decision to nominated captain as part of coach's responsibility. Too many cooks spoil the broth!!!

  • nashdwaj on April 28, 2009, 5:48 GMT

    Since we are talking about captaincy and leadership, I want to add my take on what makes Shane Warne a great captain and why KP is not able to display great leadership capabilities at this stage. By the looks of it, i.e on TV, I tend to think Shane Warne genuinely want to help the domestic cricketers to become great. We all know how much he has helped YK pathan, Jadeja. He genuinely wants to give them his expertise and has raised their confidence to new levels. In the case of KP, I feel he is not there personally, emotionally where he is secure with his ego to be able to whole heartedly be able to play mentor or coach role to younger players of RCB. There are many ingredients that goes to a successful captain, if they are younger players with not much experience captain has to play the coach or mentor role, for experienced internationals you have to able to listen, delegate. Also in the case of Mccullum he just does not have authority (given and taken) to be successful.

  • nashdwaj on April 28, 2009, 5:05 GMT

    I do not agree with this example that Ian Chappell has chosen to blow holes in the Multiple Captain theory. But I agree that Multiple captaincy theory does not work. One man should have complete leadership responsibility and authority. Even in the case of Shane Warne, Ian Chappell should not forget that he consulted with Graeme Smith, YK Pathan and many team members before taking the decisions that was taken. It depends on the style of leadership that works for your team. In the IPL where the team members are from various countries and are quite good at what they do, generally the captain should be strong with good charisma, knowledge of the game and shrewd and also be able be consultative and make decisions on his own and also take responsibilities on this own. In some cases, leadership can be delegated example may be bowling captain and fielding captain to those experts to share responsibility. But still ultimately captain is the main man.

  • wizman on April 28, 2009, 3:37 GMT

    What we are talking about here is the difference between "Who wants to bowl the SuperOver and try to win it?" and "I believe you are the man to bowl this over and win it!"

    Not sure it has much to do with a captain or a committee.

    Ultimately the captain wears the decision, regardless of how it was made. It is up to the captain to decide the process: inclusive, exclusive, committee, or whatever. When the coach gets sacked because of the captain's decision, then they can tell the captain what to do and how to do it.

  • sjavvadi on April 27, 2009, 19:59 GMT

    I do not entirely agree with Mr. Chappell. What happened was a simple mistake in decision making for that one match and has nothing to with one captain or multiple captains. All that had to be realized by the Knight Riders was that one of the batsmen would be YK Pathan and he's an excellent player of spin and the over should have been given to Ishant or someone else. Doing all this over analysis just to post an article is ridiculous and plain exaggeration. All this "reading between the lines" makes me roll my eyes.

  • plumbunion on April 27, 2009, 18:34 GMT

    Another typical Ian Chappell article - forthright and relevant. I agree with the main theme of the article that cricket is a one-man-in-charge game. However, I am not convinced that the super over really drives home the point of the article. Shane Warne announced Kamran Khan as a bowler to reckon with, even before he had bowled a ball. The KKR team management made Ajantha Mendis warm the benches the entire first season of the IPL. He then famously went on to dismantle the Indian top order in the test series in Sri Lanka. And therein lies the difference. On the day, prior to the super over being bowled, both Kamran and Mendis did a fantastic job. So the decision to ask them to bowl was almost the default. Anyone with a sensible head would have asked Kamran to bowl, given that he had just prevailed over one of the game's veterans in Saurav Ganguly. The fact that Kamran was able to keep his chin up despite being carted in the super over, speaks volumes of Warne's influence as a captain.

  • anoopbal on April 27, 2009, 2:38 GMT

    It all depends on the situation.

    You cannot conclude that one captain theory was successful just by looking at one single match and one single over. That's just poor way to come to conclusions and a great example of people jumping on to conclusions based on their biases. Tendulkar is best because he proved that in over 300-400 matches not just from one single match.

  • kgashok on April 27, 2009, 2:36 GMT

    One-captain or many co-captains? The short, simple, elementary answer is the much cliched response: It depends.

    It depends upon the captain. It depends upon the talent/capabilities available in the team that you are leading. It depends upon the followership quotient in the team. It depends upon what you want to achieve. "Success is not an option" - is that the clear message coming from the owners?

    Pose those perspectives to the situation at hand and it becomes obvious: One captain theory is what will maximize results for Shane Warne/Royals. Many-captain theory is what will maximize results for Buchanan/McCullum/KKR.

    How such elementary common sense is lost on people like Gavaskar and Chappell beats me. But then, if they make us belief that this is so elementary they obviate the very need for an article such as this. So is the case for 20,000+ management/leadership books that get published every year. So we will live and let them live as well.

    QED.

  • TwitterJitter on April 27, 2009, 1:10 GMT

    I agree with handyman. Warne was constantly wiping the dew off the ball while he was bowling. He realized that it is difficult to get a grip on the ball. Kamran bowled well in the regulation, and so he entrusted him with the responsibility for the super over. This is not to take anything from Warne who is an inspirational and a thinking captain!

  • Octoburger on April 26, 2009, 22:39 GMT

    I believe you are correct in this empowering tactic stance Ian. Shane Warne showed confidence in Kamran by giving him the super over but he also had good results on which to base this decision. You should not choose the bowler of this over based on whether he is a spinner or not, you will take this and the conditions into account obviously but Warne didn't choose Kamran based on this, he chose him because he had suceeded in the same conditions just moments earlier and because he believed in him as a bowler. The KKR had less to base their decision on as they had their bowling innings much earlier in the day and the conditions had changed. This is where the arguments would have ensued between the "multiple captains" and as they had very little on which to base a decision it came down to a game of favourites. Ishant should've bowled the over i believe as if he had bowled in the later conditions he would've been more sucessful than Mendis and I do not believe the captains thought it thru.

  • BC_LARA on April 26, 2009, 22:02 GMT

    This is being a bit harsh on john buchanan.Multiple captain theory was ridiculed by many fans of conventional cricket like Ian himself.Now every failure of the team is being attributed to the theory. In a team with many leaders if an individual is appointed to do a task,he must be comfortable with the fact the most of the team is backing his potential.Though it sometimes does not work as in this case. Warne selected kamran for super over which in my opinion did not work as well because gayle made 16 which would have been higher if he was fully fit. KKR's loss in super over and multiple leaders are two disjoint entities.Its more due to yusuf pathans clean hitting. Multiple captains is new thought like T20 itself.It might be a good one or a big blunder.Let time decide do not try to nip it in the bud.Let it live its course.

  • sundarb on April 26, 2009, 19:02 GMT

    As most of the other people mention here, I agree with Ian's point that a singular source of leadership is important in "crunch" situations. But the example he has drawn to drive home his argument is far too contrived. It is a figment of Ian's own imagination about the discussion at KKR camp, to just write off multiple captaincy theory. Any bowler in Mendis's siutation would not really be confused who decided to give him the ball (which is irrelevant at the given moment), but would rather focus on the job at hand. I think a better match situation should be taken to substantiate the one-captain argument than this one.

  • KingOwl on April 26, 2009, 18:53 GMT

    I agree that having multiple captains can be confusing. But the example Ian Chappell gives is a rather stupid one. In research, we say that proper theory building needs to rule out plausible alternative explanations. If Chappell new strategy, he would not give the example he gave. There are many, many other reasons why Mendis was not successful in that last over. I doubt very much whether confusion about the captain was one of them. Mendis is a tough cookie with a military background. He is highly confident and needs no captain telling him that he is good. He knows it!

  • Zvakanaka on April 26, 2009, 18:48 GMT

    While I agree that Warne is a good strong leader, he is also an inclusive leader. I doubt he made that decision without consulting other leaders, like Graeme Smith, in his team. It was a brave choice for Kolkata to bowl the spinner in the super over. It could have turned out differently though if Pathan had skied the first one or if the one he did sky had been caught as it should have been. Way too simplistic, Ian.

  • Charindra on April 26, 2009, 18:37 GMT

    This article is both right and wrong. One captain is the way to go and I also don't think much of Buchannan, especially after the multiple captain theory. However, this match was won because of the stupid decision to bowl Mendis intead of Ishant. A spinner was never going to work with Pathan. And how is Kamran's over a good one. It went for 15! And in that over Warne's field placement was pretty poor. No deep square leg and that gave away two boundaries.

  • Mushtanda on April 26, 2009, 17:30 GMT

    Ian has got it all mixed up here. The Royals didn't win because of how Kamran bowled, but because of how Yusuf batted (in the Super Over). Kamran did not "prevail over Mendis"-- Yusuf Pathan did. At the end of the day, a 15-run over is a BAD over, and it would've cost them the match if not for Pathan's heroics.

  • bonaku on April 26, 2009, 17:00 GMT

    If they have took that catch(of second ball) it might be different and I also endorse the concept of having single captain. It is important to have singular source of inspiration as it might be less confusing.

  • desipulse on April 26, 2009, 15:47 GMT

    First of all i agree with One Captain Theory. However in case of Kolkata, the problem is that they have a leader who wants to run the show from the bench, which is never possible. Once the teams are in the field the paradigms keep on shifting, especially with 20 over games. I play games of 14 overs regularly and I have yet to see parallels in two games. This is with six to seven players a side. There has to be one appointed Captain. When I say appointed, I mean who has the power and responsibility. Bucanen has neither, since he is making decisions in the dressing room.

  • chaitanya_ursekar on April 26, 2009, 15:41 GMT

    I agree with what Ian Chappell says about empowering Kamran Khan, and I think we've heard enough about it. But like a lot of people here have said, I don't agree with the multi-captain theory confusing Ajantha Mendis. I think Mendis is too confident of his own skills to need anyone to put faith in him. At the same time I doubt multi-captain theory would ever have worked had Mendis been an untried, untested rookie. I think Chappell's point is that no amount of ideas and tactical advice can replace a strong, single, unifying leader, who instils confidence in his men rather than works out gameplans. In the end I think your strategies can only be so good, beyond that it is about self-confidence and mental strength, as the Australians themselves under Waugh and Ponting showed us for many years, and which, recently, the Indians under Dhoni have been displaying in far greater amount than any In

  • r2d3 on April 26, 2009, 15:19 GMT

    This article is a bunch of bull. If you look at the bowling figures for the bowlers, you will see that both captains went with their most economical bowler during the regular 20 overs. Pretty slam dunk decision for both captains. Has nothing to do with the single captain or multiple captain theory.

  • Nampally on April 26, 2009, 15:04 GMT

    You are right on Ian. Warne had Kamran on his preferred bowler list even before the IPL started and predicted he would be the find of the IPL. Also Warne knows his player so well despite being a foreign captain that his players respond to him giving 100% effort.Kamran had already proven himself in the last over by tieing a losable game by his inspired bowling.That clinched the issue - the will to win. McCullum does not know his players so he cannot judge their potential himself.I presume it was a toss up between Ishant and Mendis. I presume only Gangully backed Ishant while Hodge and Gayle backed Mendis.So it boiled down to who won. Also Mendis got Pathan earlier. Personally I would have gone with Ishant because he is not that easy to hit for a 6. With all fielders on the fence, it would have given 6 singles or an odd 4. Giving Two sixers & a 4 in three balls was poor even for Mendis. Knowing your team players well - mentally & physically to produce results, is the key to success.

  • LUISITO on April 26, 2009, 14:33 GMT

    i consider that the fact behind the SUPER-OVER failure is that there is no point in sending a spinner(doesn't matter which spinner) in a situation like this against a batsman like yusuf pathan who is well known for hard-hitting the spinners better than the seamers. the ideal choice was ISHANT SHARMA. no way it would have been so easy for yusuf to hit him for sixes. look at warne,being one of the best spinners in the world,he could have bowled the super-over himself...but gayle would have thrown him out of the park. so he opted for a seamer. the multiple captains of kolkata didn't look at this point and send mendis to face yusuf,thats why kolkata lost a match which they should have won.

  • kalyanbk on April 26, 2009, 14:15 GMT

    On the other hand, one captain can also destroy careers. Ganguly never encouraged left arm spinners. Would Bedi have succeeded under Ganguly? Dhoni too has certain favorites and doesn't encourage others like Badrinath, M Vijay, Vidyut or Anirudha. In the one captain theory, if the captain fancies you, you get repeated opportunities otherwise there is lack of opportunity irrespective of your potential. Perhaps the players should elect this one captain as a compromise between the two systems or have a rotation policy!

  • bandyman on April 26, 2009, 14:08 GMT

    Ajantha Mendis was not a good choice because of the ground conditions. There was a lot of dew, and a spinner would have difficulty in gripping the ball. Most likely, that is the reason why Warne did not bowl the super over himself. Ajantha was KKR's best bowler during the regular part of the match, but then he bowled in daylight with no dew on the ground.

  • gnosis2020 on April 26, 2009, 13:23 GMT

    It seems there was a hidden agenda behind the decision to let Kamran khan bowl the super over. Why not the captain Shane Warne, the most experienced didn't bowl? He knows, 'll be blamed and image will be tarnished if fails and there is not too much to loose, when young kid fails. But if he succeeds, Wow!!!! What a Decision? -- A good politics. Well done Shane.

  • mupariwa on April 26, 2009, 13:11 GMT

    Due to the multiple captain theory who would SRK blame for the loss against Royals? According to this controversial concept, everyone is responsible for their duties undertaken. Different opinions from players (captains)leads only to confusion.Innovation doesn't always pay you. Am i right john?

  • royalbob on April 26, 2009, 12:30 GMT

    As usual good analysis by Iran Chappel and thanks for explaining it to us.I agree with his view that Warne's captancy was the reason Kamran Khan's confidence and performance.Any one who watched that match can even see that on the feild,the way warne delt with Kamran khan. One good stronge leader is enough,multiple captains looks like a ridiculous idea.

  • ghandi on April 26, 2009, 10:51 GMT

    congratulations to yusuf patan he won the game for rr and to warne for choosing him to bat,chappels comments does make sense

  • SriS on April 26, 2009, 10:31 GMT

    Most missed the point from Ian. Kamran who has only 5 T20 overs experience until then bowled a Gem of an over conceding only 15 runs to Gayle. What empowered him to have that kind of belief was from a captain who didn't have a second thought in a critical situation. Multiple captain theory is like a democracy where everyone has a say and the majority wins! or loses as it happened in the case of Kolkata.

  • AndyBowls on April 26, 2009, 10:08 GMT

    There is no coherence between the subject and the content. Given Ajantha's repute and the fact that he had bowled very well in the match, any captain would have handed him the ball for super over. And how on earth, did the analogy with the unknown Indian player fit in here?? And Kamran did not bowl well in the last over.

    All in all, there was little logic in this article. Very disappointing work from a writer I otherwise pay heed to.

  • sathish4 on April 26, 2009, 9:01 GMT

    "Also I asked Mendy if he wanted it and he was jumping out of his skin for it, so anyone who wants a job like that I'm more inclined to give it to them rather than try find someone else." - McCullum

    Doesn't that bit about Mendis wanting to bowl it make this article entirely redundant?

    Right article, but wrong basis.

  • suni_kumar on April 26, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    Mendis does not need any extra confidence, he has already done enough to prove himself, and the "captains" felt he could do it, is 15 runs in one over by Kamran a good performance..? we are ignoring the performance of Pathan..! if he was dropped second ball it was not his fault..!! please give him his due credit.

  • Pragmatic on April 26, 2009, 8:21 GMT

    I am really sick and tired of the hidden agendas in ian chappell's articles. anyone who's been watching cricket in the last ten years knows the friction between warne and buchanan and therefore this transcends to chappell because he would support warne in any situation. this game was not won because of captaincy, you just had to watch the game to realise that. this is just an excuse to put the boot into buchanan. ian just can't handle the fact that buchanan was so successful coaching australia because he doesn't think coaches are useful in cricket.how have australia performed since john retired?

  • sammumbaiindian on April 26, 2009, 8:20 GMT

    I second the thoughts of Ian when it comes to taking a decision at crucial junctures,like the one in the match between KKR and RR you need to have a single leader who could show confidence over the decision chosen by him rather than create a situation where in different people want to have different opinions and finally mess it up.Making Kamran bowl was only because of his previous spell( 3/18).He was the best among the rest & hence he chose him.

    Bt the field placements by Shane was really disappointing and Kamran went for 15 runs and i thought it was enough for KKR to pull it off now.Now similar decision was taken by KKR camp when they went for the bowler who bowled the best in the day i.e Mendis(2/19)bt it didnt went that well because Yusuf hit him all over the park.May be they could have gone for Ishant or any other Quicky but at that point of time they showed confidence on Mendis who was bowling well.

    I think Ian you could have used a more logical ex to write off Buchanen theory

  • ndayannanda on April 26, 2009, 7:50 GMT

    I ran out of place in the previous comment. So to continue, That is not captaincy material- this is pure leadership material at its core. There is no management books that can replicate Warne and trying to duplicate or analyse his style, may be worthless. So, for mere mortals, maybe multiple captains may still stand a chance- if only Warne can oblige them second time round!!! And he may0 if he takes pity. Wow- he is closest to mythology we will ever get in Cricket!

  • ndayannanda on April 26, 2009, 7:45 GMT

    The comments by Ian and the rest of the comments are an interesting read but seem to have lost the plot. Comparing Shane Warne just for his skills is like saying any legspinner is a matchwinner!! It is too simplistic. He is a one off- and a sheer genius of a player, if one has seen. I know he was only the 3rd best (yeah, I know) amongst players of the century, and I feel the top two had some nostalgia votes. I have been an avid follower of cricket, and from India and have never seen a wicket keeper take a catch on his left hand like it happened in this match. Kamran Khan taking a catch leaping backwards, is very unIndian, I must add- certainly not when they are 18, and certainly not when they are 45. Watson had a glorious session last year but a nobody in his 7-10 year career. Yusuf was an also-ran until Warne happened to him. Buchanan or someone else might create a team who can play well for them, but Warne has created a team which will die for him!!

  • vinodkd99 on April 26, 2009, 7:43 GMT

    It is really sad to come across so many articles that make a mockery of McCullum's decision capability or lack of it. May be these sort of people ACTUALLY want to put forward their point about Saurav. But one should not forget : 1. Ajantha Mendis was best bowler in KKR line up on that day and in 4 overs had conceded only 19 runs and picked up wickets as well. 2. Yusuf could have smashed any bowler in that Super Over.

    In case Ganguly would have been skipper as well, in my opinion he also would have given the ball to Mendis. IN THAT CASE, WHAT?

    I am neither advocating multiple Captain thoery, but not denouncing it either. But at the end of the day, it shall become a big point of discussion in case KKR fail to qualify for Semis. But then, what scales did they conquer last year under 1 CAPTAIN - SAURAV.

    Please grow up guys and do not relate 2 things that have no relation to each other.

  • Camprol on April 26, 2009, 7:33 GMT

    Listen to RPSingh interview the other day talking about the fielding by DC team:' Gibbs is the fielding captain and he is the one running the show on field'.So, DC team already have two captains: Gilly and Gibbs. What do they do under the circumstances. Its pretty obvious:Gilly would stand close to the stumps when Ohja is bowling and maybe decide to have a short extra cover, long leg and maybe a slip or two.Do you think Gibbs would walk over and say-Gilly I do not think a slip is needed under the circumstances. I just don't see that happening. Where does that lead us to in terms of Gibbs being the fielding captain? Its simple, he has a birds eye-view of the various fielding positions, and fits in people acordingly. He might have his best people in key positions and some how hide the not so good people in other unobtrusive positions. What gives him the authority or the ability to make these decisions.Again, it is basic. He conducts the fielding drills.SO multiple captain theory is this!

  • kule4cricket on April 26, 2009, 7:25 GMT

    i totally agree with praviski. Bowling a spinner in that situation was just asking for trouble. true, Ajantha Mendis is a great bowler but its unfair to expect him to bowl just one over and contain someone like Yusuf. KKR should have opted for someone like Ishant Sharma who's got pace as well as gile to bowl in such a situation.

  • cricketisgod on April 26, 2009, 7:03 GMT

    Excellent article! thats why I am a fan of cricinfo. Thanks for this thoughtful piece. Leadership is very dynamic issue not simply making the most calculated and sound decision. Therefore, the idea of single leader who has the potenial to be an Obama trumps the multiple leaders theory. Having said that I think the KKR strategy is more complex and I think it is to ease Ganguly out of his role.

  • tanvir7e7 on April 26, 2009, 6:55 GMT

    I would definitely agree with the way Shane Warne doing, going, living and flying. One man theory may be applicable for a person like him, legend of cricket. This could even might happen for Little Master Legend Sachin Tendulkar. But, this theory probably will never work for other cricketers. Because, it requires, years and decades of experiences. Again, suddenly just before the game "the Theory of Multiple Captain" might have some hidden agenda, nothing else. I believe, a team should have only one leader / captain / master, who can seek ideas or tips from around, but should have the liberty to take his own decisions.

  • JontyFan on April 26, 2009, 6:28 GMT

    This may have nothing to do with Ian Chappell's piece, but is it just me or does anyone else also feel that Kamran Khan has a huge kink in his action. I believe he has a suspect bowling action and should be reported to the ICC. I saw him attempt a bouncer at Ganguly and couldn't help but call "No ball!"

  • don69 on April 26, 2009, 6:25 GMT

    Apart from the fact that I agree Warne is a superb captain and an excellent judge of players - there's nothing here I agree with. If I understand correctly the idea of a leadership group is to get the pressure off one person and split it on a small group of leaders, who can then multi-task. Can't see anything wrong with that as long as the chemistry in the group is good. I'm fairly certain Warne bounces ideas off Smith, as I'm fairly sure Ponting talked to Warne, Gillie, Hayden and Mcgrath - its only one step removed from the leadership group. The whole idea of "senior players" is one of a leadership group - on and off the field. In principle I agree with that. Just like a bad over from Khan wouldn't prove the theory right, a good over from him doesn't prove it wrong (not that it was a really good over...)

  • Bang_La on April 26, 2009, 6:22 GMT

    Tamil_Twister simply forgot a very well worn proverb, "too many cooks ruin the soup". I assume tamil has played cricket and he surely knows what it matters in a player's mind when the captain puts his hand on the back of him! KKR captain definitely passed on the buck to the committee decision so it was like an act of a south asian clerk to save his job without taking any responsibility!! 20-20 is no cricket but such act does not belong to any sport.

  • mumbaiguy79 on April 26, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    I seldom agree with you, Ian, but this one will have to agree. John Buchanan's idea was a mere hogwash to install McCullum as the captain, nothing more than that. Wonder why Gilly or Waugh regard their ex-Coach in such high esteem. Baffles me.

  • hot_bebo on April 26, 2009, 5:56 GMT

    well..multiple captain theory sucks..but this article is biased too..Kamran bowled well except the superover. 15 runs off one over cant be tagged as "good" over. The whole combination of KKR is weird..owner has big ego, coach is mindless and players have no idea who their leader is... KKR is in bad situation right now..its Ganguly's ill fate..always troubled :)

  • senthil196 on April 26, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    In a time long long ago, kings were using the same argument to keep power within them and stop the birth of democracy

  • Pravski on April 26, 2009, 5:35 GMT

    I have seen two super overs so far and both times it came down to one batsman wildly slogging a spinner (remember Gayle v Vettori in NZ?). In a 6 ball, 2 wickets in hand situation, short boundaries etc. the odds are highly stacked against the spinner. Over a twenty over period, spinners are effective as batsmen are afraid of playing the big shot and having to make their own pace on the ball and hence play cautiously.

    KKR made the mistake of bowling a spinner, notice how Warne didn't bowl himself? That was the key decision there. The super over shouldn't have applied in a non-knockout match and there should only be one wicket in hand to make it more interesting (but that's another story).

  • Lakshanw on April 26, 2009, 5:29 GMT

    i agrre with the author that the multiple captaincy is a farce, but this example hardly proves it. KKR made an obvious decision - Ajanatha mendis was the best ODI bowler last year with record number of wickets and an economy rate to kill for - that decision would have remained same whether they had 1 captain or 11 captains. Warne took a gamble - he is an excellent and professional gambler - and it paid off. It was Pathans batting that won them the game - not warne's decision. Mr. Chapple, your argument does not hold water in this argument

  • Sudzz on April 26, 2009, 5:19 GMT

    I have normally known Ian to be incisive and accurate in his writings. This piece above is neither of those, if anything this is highly opportunistic and actually belittles Ian more than it denigrates Buchanan and his theory.

    While Warne did work his miracle, I think it was a fluke that paid off in the super over. Warne's brain was on supercharge during the initial 20 overs and that's how he got into a super over scenario but once there he goofed up in both his choice of bowler and field placing.

    That it worked out is pure luck and of course deft handling of Kmaran. But the rest of Ian's article is bang on about KKR and the mess that it was. It was very clear that people had their own agendas and no one is playing for the team. Else inspite of Sourav's repeated requests to play it slow why the hell would Yashpal Singh go overboard with a shot like that?

  • George11 on April 26, 2009, 5:01 GMT

    Cannot agree more with Tamil_twisters. It was not the decision of Warne to bowl with Kamran, but it was the sheer brilliance of Yusuf Pathan with the bat that won the match for RR.

  • debalsdevils on April 26, 2009, 4:59 GMT

    Really well said, mate.You know cricket. Cricket should have one captain.

  • QUDSI on April 26, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    every one is impressed with Warnes captaincy and their is no doubt that their should always be ONE leader. on the other hand, its not Yousaf who actually did the job, its KKR who did not do their job by dropping the catch of him in the very second ball.the result definately whould have been different if that catch could have been taken.

  • Fanatic_cricko on April 26, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    Ian Chappel deserves full credit for an excellent article. Shane Warne proved multiple captains theory a rubbish, garbage and a full load of shits. John Buchanan must give up and let somebody to take over and save the KKR. Wake up Mr. SRK.

    See how Shane W won an almost lost match! I agree Yousuf Pathan and Kamran Khan also deserves for their role, who was behind choosing them and makint it happen. How Mr. T-twister find it biaised? The point of discussion - all three are Aussies!!!!!

  • Rezaul on April 26, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    I completely agree with Ian Chappel and his views on the multiple captain theory. From my point of view this creates a chaos nothing else. Cricket would be better to have a thinking and responsible captain. Still I dont understand what is the intention of Mr Buchanan behind this multiple captain theory. Time will say. But it will be very unfortunate if the hidden intention was to get rid off Ganguly's domination on the KKR team!

  • tushmath on April 26, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    I think Warne captained the team really well and by showing faith in Kamran Khan during the last over and in the super over increased his confidence and performance.

    However at the same time Warne's field placements during the super over were baffling to say the least. I think it was criminal to not have any protection in the deep on the leg side and have 2 points savinga single. With all due erspect to Warney THAT did not make any sense.

    And in the end I think it was Yusuf Pathan's batting which saw RR through in the super over

  • AdityaMookerjee on April 26, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    I am for one captain, but I am more for multiple leaders on the cricket pitch, for a team. Perhaps, John Buchanan has worded his requirements wrong, for the others to comprehend. Unfortunately, The K K R, have only one leader in Saurav Ganguly. The others do not have either the capacity, nor the inclination to be leaders. Chris Gayle, is a different kind of a captain. He is very laid back, and encourages his team mate, to be comfortable on the field. McCullum needs to be captain for a while longer, of the New Zealand cricket one day side. He is not very comfortable in the team, as captain. Shah Rukh Khan is a great motivation, and he should realize that the best performing player, with bat and ball, for the K K R, is Saurav Ganguly. I seriously believe, that having great leaders in the team, who have no ego clashes, is the greatest asset to the team. India had Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman(who is a great captaincy prospect), not too long ago, in the national side.

  • cricket_DD on April 26, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    Agree with multiple captaincy issue, but everything else is easy to say after its over. It could easily have gone the other way and KKR had no other bowler to look to. I doubt if McCullum even hesitated even for a sec before choosing Mendis. Again Ian's method of over analyzing things.

  • tamil_twisters on April 26, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    I assume Ian Chappell watched the super over and 16 runs in one over no way shows the brilliance of the Warne's decision. On the other hand, its Yushuf Pathan's batting that made Warne's decision look out of world. Mendis was the best of KKR bowlers in that match and it doesn't require 11 people to vote and decide on him to bowl. This article is so biased and takes a bad example to prove ineffectiveness of multiple captaincy theory. I hope future Chappell articles would prove a point by suitable arguments.

  • Chris_Howard on April 26, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    Well said, Ian. Multiple captains in cricket - what a joke! Another silly Buchannan idea. I don't think it's a good idea in footy, but in cricket, it's ridiculous. As everyone agrees, cricket is played between the ears. Warne has demonstrated clearly the power of creating self belief between the ears of his team. As you rightly point out, Ian, this crazy idea of multiple captains simply causes doubt and confusion between the ears. And what happens when the co-captains disagree? Where's the strong leadership come from then? Dunno. They probably form a committee, write some whitepapers, hire some consultants (unfamiliar with the game of course) and sports psychologists and then make a powerpoint presentation of the findings to the coach. It must have really stressed them having to make a quick decision on who to bowl that super-over, not being able to follow a thorough process. Unlike Warnie, who before the season even started, had decided Kamran would be one of his go-to men.

  • partrocks on April 26, 2009, 3:11 GMT

    Nice Article from Ian , I agree with you it emphasizes the fact that adding too many minds to do a work results in spoil sport , one man vicious Warne is a typical example of Self Belief, Execution on time, Motivational X factor to the Royals under the moments of tense game situations. Again wellsaid Ian.

    - Parth

  • Fruho on April 26, 2009, 2:53 GMT

    very true. nice observations.

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  • Fruho on April 26, 2009, 2:53 GMT

    very true. nice observations.

  • partrocks on April 26, 2009, 3:11 GMT

    Nice Article from Ian , I agree with you it emphasizes the fact that adding too many minds to do a work results in spoil sport , one man vicious Warne is a typical example of Self Belief, Execution on time, Motivational X factor to the Royals under the moments of tense game situations. Again wellsaid Ian.

    - Parth

  • Chris_Howard on April 26, 2009, 3:18 GMT

    Well said, Ian. Multiple captains in cricket - what a joke! Another silly Buchannan idea. I don't think it's a good idea in footy, but in cricket, it's ridiculous. As everyone agrees, cricket is played between the ears. Warne has demonstrated clearly the power of creating self belief between the ears of his team. As you rightly point out, Ian, this crazy idea of multiple captains simply causes doubt and confusion between the ears. And what happens when the co-captains disagree? Where's the strong leadership come from then? Dunno. They probably form a committee, write some whitepapers, hire some consultants (unfamiliar with the game of course) and sports psychologists and then make a powerpoint presentation of the findings to the coach. It must have really stressed them having to make a quick decision on who to bowl that super-over, not being able to follow a thorough process. Unlike Warnie, who before the season even started, had decided Kamran would be one of his go-to men.

  • tamil_twisters on April 26, 2009, 3:27 GMT

    I assume Ian Chappell watched the super over and 16 runs in one over no way shows the brilliance of the Warne's decision. On the other hand, its Yushuf Pathan's batting that made Warne's decision look out of world. Mendis was the best of KKR bowlers in that match and it doesn't require 11 people to vote and decide on him to bowl. This article is so biased and takes a bad example to prove ineffectiveness of multiple captaincy theory. I hope future Chappell articles would prove a point by suitable arguments.

  • cricket_DD on April 26, 2009, 4:02 GMT

    Agree with multiple captaincy issue, but everything else is easy to say after its over. It could easily have gone the other way and KKR had no other bowler to look to. I doubt if McCullum even hesitated even for a sec before choosing Mendis. Again Ian's method of over analyzing things.

  • AdityaMookerjee on April 26, 2009, 4:23 GMT

    I am for one captain, but I am more for multiple leaders on the cricket pitch, for a team. Perhaps, John Buchanan has worded his requirements wrong, for the others to comprehend. Unfortunately, The K K R, have only one leader in Saurav Ganguly. The others do not have either the capacity, nor the inclination to be leaders. Chris Gayle, is a different kind of a captain. He is very laid back, and encourages his team mate, to be comfortable on the field. McCullum needs to be captain for a while longer, of the New Zealand cricket one day side. He is not very comfortable in the team, as captain. Shah Rukh Khan is a great motivation, and he should realize that the best performing player, with bat and ball, for the K K R, is Saurav Ganguly. I seriously believe, that having great leaders in the team, who have no ego clashes, is the greatest asset to the team. India had Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman(who is a great captaincy prospect), not too long ago, in the national side.

  • tushmath on April 26, 2009, 4:25 GMT

    I think Warne captained the team really well and by showing faith in Kamran Khan during the last over and in the super over increased his confidence and performance.

    However at the same time Warne's field placements during the super over were baffling to say the least. I think it was criminal to not have any protection in the deep on the leg side and have 2 points savinga single. With all due erspect to Warney THAT did not make any sense.

    And in the end I think it was Yusuf Pathan's batting which saw RR through in the super over

  • Rezaul on April 26, 2009, 4:37 GMT

    I completely agree with Ian Chappel and his views on the multiple captain theory. From my point of view this creates a chaos nothing else. Cricket would be better to have a thinking and responsible captain. Still I dont understand what is the intention of Mr Buchanan behind this multiple captain theory. Time will say. But it will be very unfortunate if the hidden intention was to get rid off Ganguly's domination on the KKR team!

  • Fanatic_cricko on April 26, 2009, 4:39 GMT

    Ian Chappel deserves full credit for an excellent article. Shane Warne proved multiple captains theory a rubbish, garbage and a full load of shits. John Buchanan must give up and let somebody to take over and save the KKR. Wake up Mr. SRK.

    See how Shane W won an almost lost match! I agree Yousuf Pathan and Kamran Khan also deserves for their role, who was behind choosing them and makint it happen. How Mr. T-twister find it biaised? The point of discussion - all three are Aussies!!!!!

  • QUDSI on April 26, 2009, 4:51 GMT

    every one is impressed with Warnes captaincy and their is no doubt that their should always be ONE leader. on the other hand, its not Yousaf who actually did the job, its KKR who did not do their job by dropping the catch of him in the very second ball.the result definately whould have been different if that catch could have been taken.