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Former Australia captain, now a cricket commentator and columnist

Ponting's captaincy is hurting Australia

He's trying too hard to prove he's worthy. When he quits, Haddin might be Australia's best option as a stop-gap leader

Ian Chappell

December 19, 2010

Comments: 98 | Text size: A | A

Ricky Ponting had plenty on his mind after falling for another low score, Australia v England, 3rd Test, Perth, 1st day, December 16, 2010
If it hadn't been for Johnson's revival, Ponting's place would be under immediate threat © Getty Images
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Reports of Ricky Ponting's demise have been greatly exaggerated. His Test captaincy has been prolonged by a player who himself was in danger of disappearing off the cricketing map just a few days ago.

Mitchell Johnson continued his love affair with the WACA pitch by producing another electrifying spell to rip the heart out of the England batting order. If it wasn't the work done with the Australian coaching staff that fixed the ailing Johnson, then a visit by the Fremantle Doctor provided the ideal tonic.

Nevertheless, Johnson's epic resurgence shouldn't camouflage the fact that Ponting's captaincy is starting to hurt the Australian team. In what appears to be an attempt to prove the critics wrong, Ponting has become impatient for success and his constant changes to the field placings only served to distract the bowlers from their task. He looks like a captain trying too hard to prove he's worthy, rather than a steady one with a firm grip on the levers. There's no need to be a cricketing genius at the WACA ground; if you bowl to encourage the drive, mix in the odd bouncer and keep as many catching fieldsmen behind the wicket as possible, success will generally follow.

If it hadn't been for Johnson's remarkable revival, the series could have been England's for the taking. If the pattern of the game had continued to follow that of the first day, Ponting's captaincy would now be under immediate threat. It hasn't helped that Ponting went cheaply in Perth after failures in the first two Tests. He's currently a batsman out of luck rather than out of form. In this series he's either got a good one early or he's edged to the keeper down leg side - a batsman's worst nightmare. Ponting's footwork is still intact and this generally means, for a player of his calibre, a big score is just around the corner.

While Ponting is coming to the end of his Test captaincy reign, the path to the future leadership has suddenly became a rutted road. Just a few weeks ago it appeared that Michael Clarke was certain to take over. However, the English bowlers have discovered his Achilles heel. They have made a concerted effort to unsettle him with the short stuff and it's starting to have a debilitating affect on his batting. If Clarke doesn't arrest this slide before the end of the series, the selectors will be loath to appoint him captain with such an ominous cloud hanging over his head.

Haddin has already had some success as captain of New South Wales and he's a good, aggressive cricketer with an eye for what keeps the game moving forward

If Clarke does continue to struggle, Australia could be forced to deviate from their time-honoured method of choosing a long-term captain. If they opt for a stop-gap captain, Brad Haddin would be a good choice. Haddin has already had some success as captain of New South Wales, and he's a good, aggressive cricketer with an eye for what keeps the game moving forward. He's also brutally frank about his own performance and if he adopted similar principles as Australian captain he'd be on the right track.

Former champion keeper Ian Healy dismisses worries that Haddin may feel overloaded with the captaincy. Healy believes the spin-bowling quotient is not the factor it was when Adam Gilchrist kept to Shane Warne's many quality overs for Australia.

It may not be the ideal solution but it's better to have a stop-gap captain than make a glaring error that haunts the team for a couple of series.

The other player who has advanced his credentials is allrounder Shane Watson. His cricket has improved dramatically in the last 12 months, and the adjustments have all required a lot of thought and mental courage. These are both good ingredients for a captain. However, Watson's body language in times of stress hasn't progressed at the same pace as the rest of his game. A captain can't afford to display his mood for all too see, and Watson also hasn't had any previous captaincy experience.

Johnson's resurgence was the most dramatic turnaround by a fast bowler in an Ashes series since Frank "Typhoon" Tyson in 1954-55. The Typhoon changed direction after taking 1 for 160 in the opening encounter at the Gabba, as Australia battered England. He then administered the battering in the following Test at the SCG, taking 4 for 45 and 6 for 85, and went on to claim 28 wickets in the five-Test series as England retained the Ashes. Johnson's resurgence has followed a similarly devastating path. Whether it is ongoing like Tyson's and further prolongs Ponting's career remains to be seen.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

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Posted by stuartaussie on (December 22, 2010, 5:32 GMT)

By the way, I dont see why Watson wouldnt make a good captain...he is young, he is aggressive...and he is more intelligent than people give him credit for...Yes he needs to work on his reaction to adverse situations...but he can surely learn that over time...I would definitely support Watto over Pup to replace Ponting @SFay Whats his style consciousness got to do with his leading abilities? MS Dhoni is pretty savvy, Sanga too, and Imran Khan was the original Adonis...didnt stop them from making great captains, did it?

Posted by stuartaussie on (December 22, 2010, 5:26 GMT)

@Dr. H.K Iyer...you made an interesting point about Greg Chappell...Greg was a great player no doubt, probably our greatest batsman post Bradman...but the problem with him being a selector or in fact in any position of authority is that he is very egotistical...Whoever the captain might be, I have a feeling Greg would tend to undermine him...Maybe Greg is not the way forward us...contd

Posted by Meety on (December 22, 2010, 1:21 GMT)

Fact is Punters form as captain is no worse then other Oz captains have gone thru & come out the other side of. Tubby Taylor went thru an abysmal run way worse then Punter & came back. Greg Chappell was out of sorts during periods of his captaincy & finished his career well. Steve Waugh had "experts" calling for his head before THAT century at the SCG v England. Punter will blitz with the bat during the Boxing Day Test.

Posted by Meety on (December 22, 2010, 1:13 GMT)

@dr_sachinfan_chennai - load of garbage. @mumbaiguy79 -true, I would rather a captain searching for success then one that doesn't. I generally agree with Ian C on most things but this article is hypocritical in that many times he has bagged captains for letting matches amble away from them. @ BillyCC- agreed -the amount of times he has been run out in the last 2 or 3 years is disturbing. @ tfjones1978 - that sort of thinking would of had SRT dropped 2 years ago, & Hussey 3 weeks ago... @ Beertjie - if fit & in form I would back Pup as the potential to be a great captain of Oz, however I want my captains to be indistructible like Border, Waugh & Taylor &.. Punter. Haddin would be a good stop gap captain. I agree with Ian C that Watto is too emotional for the job. @ Governor- enough of the White bandwagon, the guy is talented & could be a great captain, but his credentials are quite poor. His 1st class statistics are bloated by gorging on poor English county bowlers & is still just42

Posted by Dr.K.H.Iyer on (December 21, 2010, 20:24 GMT)

@mharun91 & @stuartaussie: Very interesting observations! the fact that OZ once had Langer, Haydos & waugh to count on if Ponting failed really did affect his style! It was always aggresive because the others could be counted upon! It points to two things here:

Ponting & Sachin are very different! Sachin is humility personified and can control his aggression! Ponting is instinctive and might not submit to the authority of another captain easily! Hence selectors might not want to take chances with Ponting once he loses his Captaincy!

If Ponting does continue, he will be under tremendous pressure because 1) Chappell is at helm and that is not good for ANYONE; (not even Don would be spared)! The Oz public has been pampered with so many wins all these years and every failure will be magnified under their expectant eyes!

It is best to give Ponting more time as he is likely to know when to go!

Posted by   on (December 21, 2010, 3:25 GMT)

I agree with Chappell that Ponting's demise is exagerrated. He never was the great he was made out to be!! And about Johnson saving his captaincy, hasn't that always been the case? Border made the Aussies start believing they could win, Taylor brought stability and Steve Waugh took them to the dominant position in late 99. Ponting just cashed in after these guys!!

Posted by Benkl on (December 21, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

Pointing than SImon Kattich than Cameron White..

Kattich has all the credentials for a great captain. Its worth noting for NSW Kattich is ahead of Clarke.

You would be mad giving it to Shane Watson soon he has enough on his plate to learn to be a captain.

Posted by   on (December 21, 2010, 1:40 GMT)

leave ponta alone,he is the best and will be for five years to come

Posted by cricPassion2009 on (December 20, 2010, 22:35 GMT)

My own view is that this is not the right time to drop Ponting or talk about changing him. Not in the middle of an important series. The selectors have missed doing their homework before and they have to endure their folly now. If Ponting miraculously rediscovers his form, all this talk will be a tad comical. Ian is half right and much too late with his half-criticism. Ponting may himself offer to quit if he finds himself trodding mediocre path for too long.

Posted by cricPassion2009 on (December 20, 2010, 22:23 GMT)

The summary as I see it :

1) if you are out of form you don't make a good captain. 2) if you are great you are not out of form, you may be unlucky though. 3) if your body language is expressive then you are not great/captain material. 4) if one player gets into devastating form, ( an out of luck, non-performing ) captain may well continue for a while.

All ridiculous conclusions; why doesn't Ian just say there is no alternative to Ponting which is what he seems to be saying and thus negating the title line ?

Posted by Stevo_ on (December 20, 2010, 20:32 GMT)

Anyone who says Watson for captain is joking surely?

This is a bloke who cares more about his hairstyle and image than the team or doing the hard yards in the middle.

Posted by Street_Hawk on (December 20, 2010, 19:50 GMT)

I think Ricky Ponting's ego is hurting Australia....I cannot fathom his decision to omit Nathan Haurtiz for the Melbourne Test...something happened in India between this two is keeping Hauritz from playing for Australia where he is the best spinner they have. Australia won in Perth but they could have easily won many more if Ricky Ponting was not captaining the side or selecting it. It's one thing to lead a bunch of talented, experience players who have proved themselves in the international arena and its completely different to nurture a bunch of promising young guns...Ricky is incapable of doing the later. The only good thing he has done is staying behind Mitchell Johnson in the past.

Posted by stuartaussie on (December 20, 2010, 15:09 GMT)

@Kris Hanssen I doubt punter would be able to make it the Sachin way. For all Punter's greatness as a batsman, he does not have Sachin's gifts. For example, Punter knows very well that he should play the pull shot much more selectively than he used to in his hey day. But he is too instinctive to do that. Scahin during his lean trot could depend upon other great Indian betters to bail the team out. Punter is under too much pressure coz he is the only great player in his team.

Posted by JimDavis on (December 20, 2010, 14:27 GMT)

Only one thing would be certain if Haddin is made captain - the UDRS would be used up before the first bowling change.

Posted by Anneeq on (December 20, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

Im not convinced with Johnson, yes he bowled well in the WACA, but he seems to be the sort of player that blows more cold than hot. The ratio being 95:5. People talk about his good batting, yes he looks like a batsman when hes got the bat in his hands but one good series doesnt make u a specialist. A measure of a good player is producing good form over many series, or over many years. Johnson did it for 1 series, the famous south africa one, but has been useless for over 2 years since then and suddenly had a good performance against England. I think we'll see the normal wide bowling below average Mitchell Johnson in the next test but of course he can prove me wrong!

Posted by azhar_hassan on (December 20, 2010, 12:05 GMT)

Well, irrespective of how Ponting is currently doing, one thing is for sure: Australia do not have a long term captain to take over when he does go. Yes Clarke was being groomed for the position but given the doubts about him being able to take on this role, there does not seem to be a plan B. If Craig White has done well captaining in domestic cricket, then he should be given a chance to cement his place in the test team and get himself ready for the captains role.But it may already be a bit late for that. The short term captaincy option is neither here nor there.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2010, 10:36 GMT)

The trouble with Australia is that they have too many captains in the commentator"s box and a few aspirants like Shane Warne, who are constantly commenting on Ponting"s leadership abilities or lack of them. Ponting is not a great captain, but he has the total support of the team, many youngsters who would do anything for him . I think the fact that he is unable to make runs is hurting him in more ways than one. If Chappell says that one big innings is just around the corner, then Ponting shoulld continue sim;y because Clarke is just not ready.Lets hope that Ponting makes runs at the MCG and Australia wins. Then the captaincy debate will lie low for some time for neither Clarke nor Haddin are ideal. Ponting has his faults, but neither is his team ideal. Australia needs Ponting for some more time and hopefully he makes some runs, then the debate will die down sridhar

Posted by rkannancrown on (December 20, 2010, 10:21 GMT)

Shane Watson appears to be the right choice rather than Clarke. He was originally billed as the replacement to Symonds but reinvented himself as an opening batsman. This requires a mental toughness which augers well. The real problem for Australia is that neither Ponting nor Clarke should be selected on present form. The selectors have ducked this issue for now but may have to revisit the same after the next test. By the way, why is Ian not thinking of Hussey as stand by option ?

Posted by   on (December 20, 2010, 8:57 GMT)

I don't think it matters much WHO they replace Ponting with. The important thing is REPLACING PONTING.

Posted by sirviv on (December 20, 2010, 8:52 GMT)

i wish Ponting stays on as a batsman because he is so good for run scoring, setting a pace, and as Ian mentioned, still has his footwork intact. BUT, as for captaincy, they should just go with pups as originally planned. if he has issues with bouncers at this stage in his career, then im left to scratch my head and wonder. my only other option for captain would be mike hussey. i think hes a very mature and focused player. i think a good example would be his match saving innings in the 20/20 semi finals against Pakistan earlier in the summer.

Posted by Morpheus273 on (December 20, 2010, 7:34 GMT)

In cricekting terms a captain is the one who gets applauded for good performance and is also drowned for a poor show. Captain, much like the captain of a ship, has to be a good leader, but should command a place on the ship on the basis of a core talent and ability. Ponting, who is no more than a 1 dollar captain, has failed as a batsman and that has what affected his chances of prolonging his career. IN days of Hayden, Langer, McGrath and Warnie, these guys used to save his butt as a captain by performing exceedingly well. He never had to use his Captain's brain, which I don't think he has, in winning matches as there were no crunch situations, thanks to the genlemen above. Now that these guys are gone and the new comers have failed to perform, Ponting's skills as a captain have been exposed. To add to the misery, his batting had gone down. Mr Ponting the countdown has begun. I will be shocked and surprised to see you, atleast as a captain, beyond the ASHES.

Posted by TheOnlyEmperor on (December 20, 2010, 7:00 GMT)

I think Ponting will hang his boots the day Kallis goes past him in the test run aggregate. The Aussies are keeping Ponting alive in the ONLY hope that he will somehow someday be able to cross Sachin's Test runs aggregate as well as break Sachin's record for the max centuries - a dream that's increasingly unreal, what with Kallis literally at Ponting's heels. Besides, as Greg Chappell says, Aus doesn't really have a good steady bankable longterm replacement in place as player and captain, somebody who can be relied to lead Aus for at least 5+ years without a further downward ICC ratings plunge, so it is Ponting as captain till then! Pragmatism rules!

Posted by Nerk on (December 20, 2010, 6:52 GMT)

Ricky Ponting has been out of form for a long time now. Last year he only made one score of note, in the last test of the series against Pakistan, and he was dropped first ball. His field placings are at times ridiculous, and Chappell is right in saying Ponting is trying too hard. I would say that he should be allowed to finish the Ashes, but whether Australia win or lose Ponting should go. He has been an outstanding player and captain for Australia, an absolute legend of the game, but Australia needs to move on, bring in some more young blood and rebuild. One more thing, to lose one Ashes series is bad enough, but to lose two and keep your job is almost unheard of, and if he loses three...

Posted by mharun91 on (December 20, 2010, 6:49 GMT)

Ponting's problem is that he doesn't know how to *not* get out. He only knows how to attack. And that aspect of batting is missing from his repertoire, and he is paying for it dearly. People who could survive at the crease for long periods such as Sunil Gavaskar, Inzamam ul-Haq, Javed Miandad would not score runs for long periods of time and would not risk offering any extravagant shot till they were confident. (Recall Inzamam's chase of 100 or so runs in a test when they were 8 down against Bangladesh. Had Pakistan lost that would have been it for Inzamam.) Ponting has played with a very strong batting line up in which he could go out and blast the opposition without much pressure or responsibility. Therefore, he never needed to develop the instincts to survive. Others didn't have that luxury for if they didn't perform the team would lose. Now Ponting is a similar situation, but doesn't have the wherewithal to stick out it, without taking undue risk.

Posted by   on (December 20, 2010, 6:14 GMT)

But I Will also admit that Virender Sehwag's present day standing on the game owes much to you, Mr. Chappell. You were the first to throw in your hat asking for Sehwag's inclusion for the tour of Australia 2007/08. Yes Kumble wanted him the squad, but, as far as I am concerned it all started with your article in Cricinfo. Hats off to you for that article.

Gokul Kenath From Vengody, Palakkad, Kerala, India..

Posted by   on (December 20, 2010, 5:54 GMT)

Ahhh, Now, Ponting will be breathing easy as Ian 'Only My Opinion Counts' Chappell has criticized him thro Cricinfo, he tells Sachin to look into the mirror and Sachin suddenly becomes Sachin again, he asks Dravid to be replaced and Dravid replies with a 191. Now that he has said Ponting's Captaincy is hurting australia, I wont be surprised it Ponting goes on to become the finest captain and I also think he is to win this ashes from now,

Please Note, Any Struggling Cricketers, the formula for you to hit form again is to persuade Ian Chappell to have a go at you through Cricinfo....

Gokul Kenath

Gokul Kenath from Vengody, Palakkad, Kerala, India.

Posted by lorrispry on (December 20, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

The moment things look bad in Australian cricket, cries of 'he's gotta go' resound throughout the media. Imaging if he was the sort of captain who instructed his own brother to bowl underarm on the last ball of the day to win a match? Then I reckon he'd have to go!

Posted by   on (December 20, 2010, 2:43 GMT)

Tendulkar lost the captaincy & stayed on as a brilliant batsman. I hope Ponting goes the same way, hes not going anywhere before the ashes are over & he will hit a big one before this series is over, any batsman can have a run of bad luck but he is too good still to hand over to an untested replacement.

Posted by balajik1968 on (December 20, 2010, 1:44 GMT)

I think Ponting's time is done. Great player, one of the greatest Australia have produced, but it is time to move on. He looks very tentative at the crease. The lack of runs is playing on his mind. If at all he wants to revive his career, he should quit the captaincy and focus on his batting. But, this depends on Australia. Australia has a policy of not letting a former captain stay on. The last 3 captains were forced to retire. Maybe Australia needs a rethink because Ponting is still their best batsman by a distance, even if Hussey has revived his career.

Posted by smudgeon on (December 20, 2010, 1:18 GMT)

Ponting would be better leading by his performance with the bat, rather than as captain. Unfortunately neither his captaincy or his batting have been much chop of late. Haddin could lead, but I have doubts about his on field conduct (see last summer). I'm not sure of Hussey's captaincy skills, but he is a good sportsman, hes a fighter, and he is well respected. He could be a good sort-of bridging captain until someone else comes along. I like Paine, but unless you relieve Haddin of the gloves & keep him on as a specialist batsman (he could certainly hold a place, given his recent form), it's unlikely to happen. But the bottom line is that Ponting won't be relieved of the captaincy during the Ashes, he'll probably keep it for some time yet, so we're stuck with the same situation until whenever that is...

Posted by batbard on (December 20, 2010, 0:17 GMT)

Ponting is no captain and never will be. He had a team of champions that didn't need a captain. Now he has a team filled players coming to the end of their careers, young players still learning their games and Sydney suck holes in the team when they have no right to be there.

Posted by Khamaj on (December 20, 2010, 0:04 GMT)

Is this the same IAN CHAPELL who suggested that SACHIN should retire after INDIA's 2007 World Cup debacle?

Hey IAN, why don't you ask Punter to "RETIRE" ?

Any which way, if Cricket Australia is serious about rebuilding , they'll show the door to Punter very soon ( as they did to Bevan and Bichel ).

Punter....ESPN is hiring cricket analysts, give it a try :))

Posted by Gilliana on (December 19, 2010, 22:40 GMT)

Permit me to continue on my last comment. Any Indian can tell that once Greg Chappell is involved with Australian cricket, Australia will go down. Greg is finished with cricket the moment he shelved his bat in his garage. Now fade into history and so with thee Ian.

Posted by SnowSnake on (December 19, 2010, 22:36 GMT)

More than his captaincy, Ponting as a player is starting to hurt Australia.

Posted by JD60 on (December 19, 2010, 22:28 GMT)

I'm starting to think the assumption that a Captain has the power to influence every cricket match is overrated. No field placings could have helped Australia the way the bowlers performed in Brisbane and Adelaide. Take Strauss' captaincy in Perth as an example. He is widely recognised as a good technician yet he was moving fielders to follow where a boundary had just been hit in the same way Ponting is often derided for doing. And he wouldn't bowl Swann until Hussey was set. Batsmen and Bowlers win test matches, rarely it is the Captain's influence.

Posted by Cam_PT on (December 19, 2010, 22:23 GMT)

If they'd pick Cameron White like they probably should at the moment, then he'd be ideal as the next captain.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 20:36 GMT)

Ricky will come alright, he's been a brilliant performer for Australia and there is no doubt that he's been a fantastic captain. I think it's easy to see that the last few years have been hard on him because he's lost a lot of his good players he used to rely on, and lets face it, the current Aussie team isn't a patch on the one that existed about four years back. Ian's right about his impatience as a captain where he can't seem to stay with a field setting for more than a few overs if it isn't paying off and sure his batting performances have been poor but he's come back into test series when it looked like all hope was lost. He's obviously had a positive impact on the boys because they've still stayed cheerful after the disaster that was Adelaide. Say what you want to say about his recent failures but Ricky Ponting has won 99 tests and is a brilliant leader.

Posted by Cricket_Commentator on (December 19, 2010, 19:11 GMT)

Shane Watson or Clarke good choice. if watson appointed as a captain then he should step down from the opners role ,even though he scores currently very well in that place.he should step down himself at least in test because he is truly an all-rounder.Because of his all-rounding abilities he need to step down as a no:4 or 5 batsman to avoid his burden.In ODI or T20 its quiet OK what ever position may he plays.& Don't forget steve waugh is an all-rounder. If Australians want's a long term captain Watson should be the first choice. IT'S TIME TO QUIT CAPTAINCY MR:PONTING .

Posted by Dr.K.H.Iyer on (December 19, 2010, 18:24 GMT)

Ponting is a great cricketer! The OZ have got addicted to success and are expecting that a change of captaincy will do wonders! One man can not be held responsible for failure (or success)! The same thing happens to Tendulkar when India fails! It only re-asserts the greatness of these men and how much the lesser mortals have come to expect of them! Ponting might be struggling now but at his peak he was as good as Lara or Sachin! He would know when to go, after playing so many years of cricket!

Posted by addiemanav on (December 19, 2010, 18:15 GMT)

chappell wants to say that ponting is not out of form but his captaincy is a worry..then why dont they change the captain and keep him just as senior player and enjoy his batting..there is not hard and fast rule that aus captains hav to retire if they r removed from leadership post!!if clarke is not be the best option,then they can make anyone else the captain if they want..and if still ponting is the best of the lot then there is no point in discussing his successor if according to chappell,his form is not a real worry!!

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 18:08 GMT)

In the old days any Australian captian who lost a series would read about in in the paper (been dropped and out of the team ala Bill Lawry), Ponting may eventual go the way of Steve Waugh a final bow to the public. But I feel Ponting is too proud for either alternative, if he thinks he can't contribute he will opt out, on his own terms and he is right, the Australian public know he is trying his best and the critics just feed a lot of dribble to pay for their keep. Like many Australian cricket fans I'm very proud of Ricky and all his done and doing for the game, good luck for the rest of the series.

Posted by CricLook on (December 19, 2010, 17:53 GMT)

Mr. Chappell, your comments are indifferent with some other critics. Can put your hand in your heart and say who is the best batsman in the side...? Yes , Hussy is making runs just starting this series, Katich is not there..Watson can produce some handy runs but his game is still developing...Clarke unsure about his worth and game at the moment..Only Ponting has the ability to build a long innings..Every batsman has bad time that does not mean he become scapegoat of every failure...Aussies drawn the match in Gabba and lose in Adelaide because the disappointing performance of their bowlers. As a captain Ponting has to take the share responsibility but that does not mean he is the main culprit. Last couple of years it was quite clear Australian side is in declining state. Its very much easy to lead a all conquering side with legends but its very hard to lead and motivate a less quality inexperienced side. Ponting just trying to save this team to give a better future when he retires.

Posted by Hooves on (December 19, 2010, 17:53 GMT)

Don't like much of what Mr Chappell has to say but i do feel that Haddin would be the better choice for skipper. Clarke is a mouse. Haddin leads a strong NSW team well and they continually achieve in Aus. I'm English by the way so feel free to appoint Clarke as skipper. I thnk the world would rub their hands at that.

Posted by Tiptop32 on (December 19, 2010, 16:20 GMT)

I 100% agree with Ian. Time for Ponting to be sacked from captaincy. His captaincy has been absolute failure in the last 3 years.

Posted by adil_08 on (December 19, 2010, 16:06 GMT)

Ponting should continue playing cricket for another 2 world cup because he is a class player.. He is out form these year and im sure he will bounce back in the coming Ashes 4th test at the melbourne and i think Ponting will move on from here My prediction is Ponting will score 190 in first innings of 4th test

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

Finally AN AUSTRALIAN commentator has the guts to say what every AUSSIE cricket lovers have been thinking. His captaincy has been confused and unimaginative. Stop getting sentimental on Ricky - drop him for a test and let him play 1st class cricket to get his place back in the team. Haddin - best choice for captain that's questionable - what about Clarke or Hussey?

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 19, 2010, 15:48 GMT)

There is nothing wrong with Ian chappell suggestion , haddin may be aggressive player buy he may not last long because he gets injured often. May be can come as batsman because he is better than North. People may listen to hussey than haddin but haddin is more aggressive , do or die type. Could work. Idea is this helps ponting to concentrate on batting and pile up runs. Good idea. Will ponting listen?.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 15:44 GMT)

They brought in Hussey to late to the squad hes like 35 years old, otherwise i could see him as a better leader than Clarke.

Posted by adil_08 on (December 19, 2010, 15:25 GMT)

Ricky ponting is the right man who can lead australia

Posted by stFleming on (December 19, 2010, 15:24 GMT)

Aaaah, all of us should keep faith in Ricky Ponting...His record speaks itself...He is currently under alot of pressure and should be sacked as captain as his captaincy is hurting his batting...He should focus on his batting and look to score 50 test hundreds like Sachin did...Ponting is naturally the most aggressive batsman in the top batsmen list...Hope Ricky gets fit for the boxing day test and score a hundred....all the best Ricky!!!!!

Posted by mathewsphy1 on (December 19, 2010, 14:36 GMT)

He is making always blunders. He must make his daughter coach , I think it will be the best option( he is always telling this)

Posted by greenturf on (December 19, 2010, 14:24 GMT)

Everyone is looking on the field for the display of captaincy from Ponting but one must acknowledge how he has kept his side intact and self confident off the field,chopping and changing can easily distract a side from the actual goal.And a batsman of his class,courage is bound to come good,after all one doesn't become a great of the game till one proves one self in such moments of crisis.

Posted by KarachiKid on (December 19, 2010, 14:08 GMT)

Whats wrong with Mike Hussey as being a stop-gap captain ? Why is cricket australia so harsh on quality players like Mike and David Hussey, Brad Hodge and Andrew Symonds ?

Posted by Icyman on (December 19, 2010, 13:57 GMT)

Whatever Chappel has penned down here sounds very bitter. In short he is trying to say that if it hadn't been for Johnson's 6-for, the Aussies would have lost. Agreed. But who decided to give Johnson another chance ? Who decided to bowl Johnson at a particular junction in the match ? It was Ponting. Chappell believes that a captain needs to be in full form, but that is not the case. Look at other captains around the world- Ganguly struggled with his batting at times, nevertheless he led India well. Statements made above by Ian Chappel are totally uncalled for and Ponting needs to now answer his critics-which he will do in the Boxing Day Test.

Posted by dubai_cricfan on (December 19, 2010, 13:14 GMT)

dont catch hold ponting ...let him play his game....he is one of the most agressive captain i ever seen.....al persons have a downfall...now his condition is like saurav ganguly...if they try to pull him out they need to pay big....still india ddint find the replacemnt for saurav............

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 12:46 GMT)

"Ponting's captaincy is hurting Australian cricket". It is very well said. Perhaps a bit too late. His failures are just too many. I very expected that he would be dropped from the team at the end of the second test. Nothing would have been lost. If he continues to captain in the rest of the series he should Johnson who did exceptionally well in spite of Ricky. Now Australia has leveled the series. (let it not be forgotten that Australia's victory is at least partly due to unimaginative captaincy of Strauss). England lost from good positions on two occasions. On day 1 Aussies were 70 for 5. On day 2 England was 80 without loss. In the best interest of Australian cricket I am praying that Ponting is not fit to play the next two matches. It will be a great blessing in disguise.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 12:09 GMT)

Ian Chappell becomes a greater captain with every year that passes.. He was the greatest captain Australia ever had... Just ask him.. ;) The captain is only as good as the side he has to work with, and funnily enough Ian, the game doesn't 'revolve' solely around the captain...

Posted by prabwal on (December 19, 2010, 11:49 GMT)

i completely agree with Gilliana....looking at the glorification of England team and analysis of the 'crisis' faced by Aussie cricket after the 2nd test, England should already have secured the urn quite comprehensively.

Posted by Gilliana on (December 19, 2010, 10:46 GMT)

Chappell is talking rubbish. A captain is only as good as his team. Moreover there is no substitute for Ponting at the moment, the last of the 'originals' in the team. He will come good as a batsman if only people like Chappell and the demanding media stop putting pressure on him. Chappell played the game no doubt but I have also been watching Test cricket for more than sixty years. Ponting will become good and I am confident he will make this present combination of his, world beaters before he goes.

Posted by arvin on (December 19, 2010, 10:40 GMT)

chappal brothers want ponting to contine playing until his body refuses to take it any longer... hoping by age 50 he might break sachin batting records...

Posted by vmp78 on (December 19, 2010, 10:28 GMT)

Ian Chappell be honest and tell Ricky to look at the mirror "Mirror Mirror SHould I retire" and the answer is yes. My Chappell conveneantly says that Ricky is having bad luck rather beign out of form. While for Tendulkar after the 2007 WC he wrote an article calling the sachin to retire, probably on his brothers urging. Ricky has scored 80 runs in 6 innings in the current ashes series and he has not played a significant innings in the last 2 years, he has been dismissed by the short ball consistentlyand averages in the 30's and is a shadow a player he was 2 years ago. Ricky is playing for the wrong reasons, he is concerned more about his legacy (lossing ashes) rather than what is good for Australian cricket. So Mr Ian dont be biased in your analysis and comments just because Ricky is an australian. Be honest and ask yourself in the mirroor "Was I wrong to suggest sachin must retire and was I wrong in suggesting Ricky has bad luck" and the answer is a resounding YES.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 9:43 GMT)

is it a coincidence that Aussie cricket started it's downfall the moment Guru Greg became officially involved?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 8:52 GMT)

According to contemporary records Ponting is still a great captain in world cricket.Losing Ashes may be a dent in Ponting's ship but think he wont let it to sink.Remember 16 consecutive test victories equaling a world record,21 one day victories in 2003 and two World cup wins in a row is no mean task.No present captain could achieve at least any one of the three achievements.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 8:37 GMT)

If you're going for a stopgap captain, why not Mike Hussey? He's obviously not a keeper like Haddin, so won't be overburdened. And at 35, he ISN'T too old. Graham Gooch first became England captain at the age of 35 and he only became a better batsman and lasted 5 years as captain. And in this series, with him being leading runscorer, a Hussey appointment would make a statement to England of Australia's determination to regain the Ashes.

As an Englishman, I hope you appoint Clarke, a jazz-hat fancy-dan who keeps getting out at the crucial moment, witness Edgbaston 2005 and Adelaide 2010.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 8:31 GMT)

where is nathan bracken???????a good formidable support in one day international.... ponting is the greatest captain ever...he won 2 world cups with his own batting performances and the field settin skills............wats gonna happen 2 our own country in tests wen graets like sachin,dravid,laxman wave their hands............raina must be removed........bring in cameron white....and captaincy must be given 2 him

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 19, 2010, 8:23 GMT)

I take ponting anyday on pressure games. He is a tiger in chinese astrology. Good aggressive player. At present he is not batting well. Too many things on his mind. It is time to appoint new captain. No one in sight. Hadding is a good stop gap choice. No one else there actually. Michael clarke is not batting well. I really think he is mentally weak. He is still skill ful like indian batsman and flop on short ball. It is a weakness on display. Hussey may also be a good choice , more permananent than haddin. Haddin gets injured a lot i think.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 7:31 GMT)

I think Ponting is just a knock away to be back in form. Lack of runs is adding to his captaincy woes, also not to forget d out of form batsmen in the batting line up. He just can not bat like he used to bat a few years ago, as age has also taken a big tole on him. But am sure in an innings or two, Ponting will prove his critics wrong and will be back amongst the runs. Will the Australian selectors stick with him as captain after the world cup, that is for all of us to see. But as of now, in my opinion, he's the best captain that can lead this Australian side.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 6:53 GMT)

Once again a Comedy piece from Chapppel..... This guy asked for the retirement of Sachin 2 years ago!!! I envy his foresight..:P ha... ha...

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 6:50 GMT)

Ah, Ian Chappell, the same man who masterminded the disgraceful whiteanting of Kim Hughes in the media, back in the day. Take everything this man says about Ponting with several grains of salt.

Posted by Sarfin on (December 19, 2010, 6:48 GMT)

Leave Ponting alone. He knows when to stop.

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (December 19, 2010, 6:48 GMT)

It would be really interesting to see Ponting's batting stats with Hayden, Langer at the top, Gilly to follow and a bowling attack that had Warne and McGrath in it and compare them to when all of em were gone. I bet it was way easier then to come off as a world class batsman or captain than now!!

Posted by murthydn16 on (December 19, 2010, 6:44 GMT)

Ponting was made to look like a great captain because of players like McGrath, Warne and Gilchrist. People were critcising Tendulkar for not winning matches earlier with not so good bowling attacks and were praising Ponting on the other hand for winning matches. How ever the retirements of the above players have exposed the myth around ponting that he was a great player. He is a good player but not great.

Posted by TheLoneStranger on (December 19, 2010, 6:34 GMT)

Chappell's right about Haddin, except I'd make him captain now and tell Ponting if he wants to continue playing he must drop to number 5. I don't know much about Tassie's Cosgrove, but he certainly produced the goods in the current Shield game. Hughes should NEVER have been picked; goodness knows what was in the minds of the selectors, picking a bloke with a season's average of 15!!! Jaques should have been picked ahead of Hughes, although I note his form is not brilliant, either. At least, though, Jaques has been getting some solid starts, and he has a Test batting average of around 47 at the moment. Surely the grog (sorry, Beer) experiment must be terminated in view of Hauritz's resurgence with bat and ball!? Give Khawaja and Cosgrove a start in Melbourne, drop Clarke and Hughes, and here is your team: Watson, Cosgrove , Khawaja, Hussey, Ponting, Smith, Haddin, Hauritz, Johnson, Harris, Bollinger (if fit) or Siddle, Hilfenhaus (12 man) Another option: play Jaques and omit Smith.

Posted by Avash on (December 19, 2010, 6:27 GMT)

I agree with most of the thing that Ian Chappell has to say.. but only AB will understand what ponting is going. "Re- building the team after a golden era is not an easy job to do". All Australia & Ponting needed was a win... You wait and watch how the great Ricky Ponting will score a 100+ on boxing day... Come on Ricky Give us a Ton.....

Posted by Webba84 on (December 19, 2010, 6:23 GMT)

I've never thought star batsman should be the captain, it's too much distraction for someone who's job is maximum focus on a single task. Name one team that's performed well when the best batsman in it was captain. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Posted by Roc78 on (December 19, 2010, 6:17 GMT)

I can't help but agree with Chappel regarding Ponting. I still think he is a great batsman but unless things work exactly to plan, his captaincy is being found out. I like the idea of Haddin as he seems as if he is would be more of a typically gritty "Aussie" captain than Clarke. What if he gave up the gloves & Tim Paine came into the side? Haddin can just concentrate on batting & captaining & Tim's test/first class record to date is great & he is probably a better glove man than Haddin....Just a thought!

Posted by KBCA on (December 19, 2010, 6:03 GMT)

Ponting has never been a good captain, it is well known that his success over the last decade was due to having 2 great wicket takers in the team as that is how test matches are won. It has always irked me how Australia have been 'grooming' Clarke as the next captain. He is not a natural leader of men rather a solid vc who can offer some insight to the number 1. and one more thing why on earth is smith in the team at 6!? surely Cameron White is the obvious selection as a legspinning allrounder if that is what you want.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

Ponting is great batsman.Every batsman has rough phase in their career..He has nothing to prove for his captaincy. Look at his record as captain and compare with rest of current captains in the world...

Posted by gany1 on (December 19, 2010, 5:46 GMT)

punter is the best man available for aussie revival in both form of the game ...Currently he is struggling with his batting ..but guys like hussey, hadin , watson has taking the workload .and thankully even the bowlers too..after their great performance in perth...Huge win for punter mens ..and confidence booster...Punter need to sort out batting woes with some senoirs experts ..in order to keep in top worls batman contestant..Hope for ponting emergence in boxing test ...

Posted by Governor on (December 19, 2010, 5:41 GMT)

Before Greg Chappell's arrival, the selection panel of Andrew Hilditch, Jamie Cox, David Boon and Merv Hughes did not undergo any forward planning after the 2008 series against India in Australia. Cameron White was the ideal man to bat at number 6 for Australia and the selectors did not pick him for the 2008-2009 series against South Africa in Australia. ANd, he is a great attacking positive captain who captains Victoria in the mould of a David Hookes and Ian Chappell. I wonder why Chappelli wrote this thought provoking article!!

Posted by Jaggadaaku on (December 19, 2010, 5:41 GMT)

@ mumbaiguy79, How could you say that he still is the best guy to lead them. He is Australian Ganguly who always gets fail to make runs but always get selected, only because he is a captain. And as long as he leads the team, no-one could kick him out. In the year of 2007, Punter hit 7 centuries, and in last 3 years-2008, 2009, and 2010, he could reach triple figure only twice (2 centuries in last 3 years). Do you really think Australia should hold his back by keeping him until he decides to retire, no matter his poor form and poor performance in last 3 years? If you do, then help selecting other new comers who got few chances and dropped because they also got failed. Because Hilfenhause is Punter's cousin, Punter selecting him on regular basis; moreover, giving him most number of overs to bowl despite he fails to take more than one wicket in every innings, and sometimes fails to capture even one wicket in an innings.

Posted by ahmedjawwad4u on (December 19, 2010, 5:39 GMT)

at least Ponting wanted to persist with Mitchell after first test, believing in his qualities, when you, mr chappell, thought that he should go back to domestic. A true captain protects his soldier. So who is a better captain, you or him? And where is your 2-0 now? These days I have only one guess about the future of a cricketing event, i.e bet over exactly the opposite of what you are saying

Posted by Zahidsaltin on (December 19, 2010, 5:33 GMT)

Ponting has a lot of cricket left in him. It's just bad luck and some age related pressure which is making it a bit hard for him. Had this happend to him some 5 years ago, nobody had pointed a finger at him but now each time he doesn't score, people stand ready to ask for his head. I think Punter is a reasonable captain and Australia needs to keep him at least a year where they can work on finding a couple of young batsmen and a spinner to have a setteled team before installing a new captain.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 5:18 GMT)

What about your writing of May 13, 2010?

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 5:16 GMT)

What about this article Mr. Chappell?


Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 5:15 GMT)

i think Chappell is right Ponting is really trying to overexert himself for the best he can get so i think Ponting must re emphasize his strategy!

Posted by Beertjie on (December 19, 2010, 5:10 GMT)

Excellent article - Haddin as a stop-gap until someone new emerges is logical. Clarke's suspect back will do him no favours, so like Gilly he can remain the permanent vice-captain until the end of his test career. This time of transition really requires careful management, so there was need for Ponting, but his victories aside (achieved by a magnificent team of which he was the supremo), he was never too flash as a captain.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 4:41 GMT)

I agree with chappel, i think Ponting too firm and stubborn to making some decisions. Whats the need to bat first in Adelaide when everyone knows that the wicket is at its best on day 2 and day 3.? Why always this "Win the Toss - Bat first" philosophy is being followed without thinking.? I am afraid if Ponting does a proper analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Oppurtunities and Threats of his team and opponents before the game.

And why is Michael Clarke still in the team. Axe him and bring back bollinger. That way we have an extra bowler in the team and i'm confident that Bollinger scores more runs than Michael Clarke.

Posted by jameswayne on (December 19, 2010, 4:35 GMT)

I just can't fathom Mr. Ian Chappell.Around a month ago he had stated that Ponting is the only choice to captain Australia and is an inspiration. And now he comes out with a blooper that Ponting's captaincy is hurting Australia.Just a case of old age catching up with Mr.Chappell or trying to come up with different things to sell his columns.To put it straight, Ponting is statistically the greatest ever captain the world has seen.He was the heaviest scorer in the world from 2003 till 2009 which is a hell of a record.He won almost every thing as captain during this period including 2 world cups and 2 Champions trophy titles and most test series against all countries.So a minor loss of form can be excused as far as Ponting is concerned.I admit that Ponting has made mistakes with the toss 2 to 3 times but he is no doubt the most inspirational player that Australia has.And to Mr. Ian Chappell, he has not got a record even half as good as Ponting and as a result the Sour Grapes in his mouth

Posted by RaghuramanR on (December 19, 2010, 4:29 GMT)

I think Clarke will soon become alright. I am not sure of what happened to his batting especially against spin. I had thought that he was the better if not best players of spin. In fact, I thought he was better than Ponting in batting against spin. Ponting has demonstrating his adaptability by improving very well against spin but Clarke's descent is unexplainable. If he sets his mind alright, he can well lead Australia and more importantly bat well. A bit of captaincy stint in domestic circuit (South Australia or New South Wales, I guess) would definitely be helpful.

Posted by __PK on (December 19, 2010, 4:20 GMT)

If it hadn't been for Ponting's superb record as a leader of men (which is not the same as being an onfield tactician) Johnson would not have been still in the side to turn the whole series. You can add Symonds and Watson in this category too. The man is an inspirational leader and Chappelli's bias is hurting his credibility as a commentator.

Posted by tfjones1978 on (December 19, 2010, 4:17 GMT)

An XI should be picked BEFORE the Captain. Ponting has scored only 470 runs in 2010 off 17 innings at below 30. Clarke has scored only 290 runs since March off 13 innings at below 25. Two sheffeld Shield players have scored 500 runs in 9 or 10 innings at average of around 60. Remove Ponting & Clarke and put in these 2 shield players.

Captain could be: Hussey (35, okay captain, may affect his batting), Watson (30, unknown as captain, may affect his bat/bowling), Johnson (32, unknown as captain, may affect his bowling), Haddin (33, unknown as captain, unlikely to affect his bat/wicky).

Haddin would be a reasonable choose as he is younger then Hussey, is less likely to loose his spot and is unlikely to be affected by captancy duties. Also the Captain should ALWAYS bat with the tail (look what this did when Steve Waugh or Border did!), which is a big failure of Pontings captancy (Ponting should have batted at 6 for last 4 years).

Captain Haddin, sounds good!

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (December 19, 2010, 4:03 GMT)

Let them say what ever they want to .......best possible captain for australia is ponting at this time. If he is injured then its a problem otherwise he is the man to lead australia. Haddin or any body can do nothing in this situation, australian team is weak especialy bowling above all spin bowling . Australia won becuase of Shane warne and McGrath for 10 years , at that time no body said any thing about ponting but today australia dont have resource now they are putting blame on ponting.

Warne and McGrath like Ponting born once in 100 years. Australia should show some maturity and do not dis respect a great legend who just scored 9000 runs in 10 years.

Give respect to ponting and cricket will pay back to australia. Have fun.

Posted by natasrik on (December 19, 2010, 3:59 GMT)

I think more than pontings constant field place changes, it is Ian chap's contsant thinking after everything is finished seems to be a big question mark on his ablitiyto analysis the game of cricket. Let us be frank with the on going ashes followed by WC, australia can never think of changing the captain and in the current squad nobody deserves that other than ponting. Infact the think which surprised me after gabba test is the changing the australian 11, which I think was done more on pressure. The perth test has shown the result. One more thing before the perth test started, cricket pundits were blaming ponting for not including Beer in the final 11, let me ask them what they have to say now.

Posted by   on (December 19, 2010, 3:55 GMT)

probably,now, Ian chappell would defer with these comments

Posted by BillyCC on (December 19, 2010, 3:53 GMT)

Ponting's dismissals in this series, particularly the two caught down leg side and Anderson's gem delivery, would seem quite unlucky. However, there is something psychologically not right with Ponting. Watching him bat is a nightmare for a fan, and every delivery seems to be a possible get-out ball. I'm sure the English sense this too. Ponting needs to capture the aura again, of being steady at the crease and being very hard to get out. It just seems all too easy to get him out at the moment. Perhaps this win will start it off in the right direction.

Posted by mumbaiguy79 on (December 19, 2010, 3:28 GMT)

Ponting to me is still a brilliant batsman, but lack of quality players coupled with out-of-form batsmen has magnified his captaincy trouble. I think he is still the best guy to lead them. So Mr. Chappell, take it easy and watch Ponting continue until he wants to continue.

Posted by dr_sachinfan_chennai on (December 19, 2010, 3:02 GMT)

Ha after longtime Mr.Ian is accepting the fact that the Aussies have the aura they once had. And Punter is running out of luck. Yeah true.. Very true. Is n't that why Agarkar got out for 6 ducks in Oz.. Its his unluck that Chris Martin is unable to score? He got be accede the fact that Ponting is no more a player he was and well Australia is not India to allow him time for renaissance. If they persist with Punter then Australia is accepting its fate. If he is dropped then again Ian got to agree that all is over for Punter..

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Ian ChappellClose
Ian Chappell Widely regarded as the best Australian captain of the last 50 years, Ian Chappell moulded a team in his image: tough, positive, and fearless. Even though Chappell sometimes risked defeat playing for a win, Australia did not lose a Test series under him between 1971 and 1975. He was an aggressive batsman himself, always ready to hook a bouncer and unafraid to use his feet against the spinners. In 1977 he played a lead role in the defection of a number of Australian players to Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which did not endear him to the administrators, who he regarded with contempt in any case. After retirement, he made an easy switch to television, where he has come to be known as a trenchant and fiercely independent voice.

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