April 20, 2011

Post-captaincy performers

How players have fared in their post-captaincy careers compared to their performance when at the helm

In his first series after giving up the Australian captaincy, Ricky Ponting scored 118 in three ODI innings against Bangladesh and averaged 59. His uninhibited approach was an encouraging first step in the final phase of his career, ahead of tougher opponents in Sri Lanka and South Africa. As captain, Ponting averaged 51.51 in Tests and 43.30 in ODIs so he has high standards to maintain as he returns to the ranks. This week we've looked at how players have fared in their post-captaincy careers compared to their performance when at the helm.

Gerry Alexander, the former West Indies captain who died on April 16, was captain in 18 of his 25 Tests. He led the team during a period of change - he was the Caribbean's last white captain - and had to deal with difficult situations such as the one involving Roy Gilchrist, whom Alexander sent home from the 1958-59 tour of India for bowling several beamers too many. Alexander had the reputation of an attacking batsman but during his captaincy he made only 466 runs in 24 innings at an average of 22. He played only one series after being succeeded by Frank Worrell but it was his best as a batsman. On the 1960-61 tour of Australia - the tied-Test series - Alexander made at least a half-century in each match and finished with 484 runs in 10 innings at an average of 60.50. The difference of 38 between his batting average as captain and after giving up the captaincy is the greatest for any player.

Few captaincy stints have been more disastrous in terms of results, both for team and individual, than Ian Botham's. No riposte after giving up the leadership has been more jaw dropping. Botham was captain for 12 Tests - nine against West Indies and three against Australia - in 1980-81 and England won none of them. His form with the ball in those games - an average of 33 - wasn't horrendous but his stats with the bat were - 276 runs at an average of 13. He quit two Tests into the Ashes - Australia were up 1-0 - and then scripted England cricket's finest hours. Bothan's batting averaged soared to 52 in the four remaining Tests, his bowling average plummeted to 20 and England won the Ashes.

Difference in batting average as captain and batting average after captaincy - Tests (5 Tests as captain, 10 innings after, excluding multi-country teams)
Player Span Mat Runs Ave HS 100 Captain Mat Runs Ave Diff
FCM Alexander (WI) 1960-1961 5 484 60.50 108 1 1958-1960 18 466 22.19 38.30
IT Botham (Eng) 1981-1992 65 3588 35.52 208 8 1980-1981 12 276 13.14 22.38
A Flower (Zim) 2000-2002 20 1952 67.31 232* 5 1993-2000 20 1380 49.28 18.02
PA de Silva (SL) 1999-2002 17 1131 43.50 206 3 1991-1999 6 260 26.00 17.50
S Chanderpaul (WI) 2006-2010 35 2833 61.58 166 8 2005-2006 14 1038 47.18 14.40
GN Yallop (Aus) 1979-1984 24 1691 42.27 268 5 1978-1979 7 424 30.28 11.98
Wasim Bari (Pak) 1978-1984 39 618 16.26 85 0 1977-1978 6 45 6.42 9.83
Wasim Akram (Pak) 2000-2002 13 474 33.85 100 1 1993-1999 25 894 24.16 9.69
DI Gower (Eng) 1990-1992 11 848 53.00 157* 3 1982-1989 32 2267 43.59 9.40
PR Umrigar (India) 1958-1962 25 1609 41.25 172* 6 1955-1958 8 394 32.83 8.42
AC Gilchrist (Aus) 2004-2008 37 1898 41.26 162 6 2000-2004 6 305 33.88 7.37
SC Ganguly (India) 2005-2008 29 2146 44.70 239 4 2000-2005 49 2561 37.66 7.04
SR Tendulkar (India) 2000-2011 101 8656 58.09 248* 29 1996-2000 25 2054 51.35 6.74
SP Fleming (NZ) 2007-2008 7 552 46.00 87 0 1997-2006 80 5156 40.59 5.40
Saeed Anwar (Pak) 2000-2001 9 469 39.08 123 2 1996-2000 7 414 34.50 4.58
N Hussain (Eng) 2003-2004 12 837 39.85 116 2 1999-2003 45 2487 36.04 3.81
SM Gavaskar (India) 1985-1987 19 1468 54.37 176 4 1976-1985 47 3449 50.72 3.64
SV Carlisle (Zim) 2003-2005 10 486 28.58 118 2 2001-2002 6 319 26.58 2.00
A Shrewsbury (Eng) 1888-1893 6 359 35.90 106 1 1884-1887 7 347 34.70 1.20
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 2003-2007 34 2184 37.65 253 4 1999-2002 38 2177 36.89 0.75
A Ranatunga (SL) 1999-2000 10 444 37.00 88 0 1989-1999 56 3118 36.25 0.74
AJ Stewart (Eng) 2001-2003 23 1277 39.90 123 1 1993-2001 15 1059 39.22 0.68

Marcus Trescothick captained England in only two Tests - against New Zealand at Lord's in 2004, and at Multan in 2005 - and he holds the record for the highest score in a final match as captain. Standing in for Michael Vaughan, whose knees were shot, Trescothick made 193 against Pakistan, a match the hosts won by 22 runs. Vaughan returned for the next Test, and Trescothick never led England again.

Trevor Goddard, the South Africa allrounder, played 41 Tests and led his country in 13 of them. In those Tests Goddard took only 24 wickets in 23 innings, bowling left-arm medium-pace, at an average of 36, which was far too high for a quality allrounder in the 1960s. After his term ended, Goddard played eight more Tests, under Peter van der Merwe and Ali Bacher - all against Australia - and his returns were much improved: 35 wickets in eight Tests at 18 apiece. Goddard's 8 for 92 in Johannesburg in 1966 helped South Africa beat Australia for the first time at home. The difference of 18 between Goddard's bowling average as captain and after captaincy is the highest for a bowler.

The best bowling figures in a final Test as captain belong to West Indian allrounder Denis Atkinson, who took 7 for 53 in Auckland in 1956. New Zealand won that match, though, by 190 runs and ended a 26-year wait for a maiden Test win. Atkinson played only three more Tests for West Indies and ended his career under the captaincy of Alexander.

Difference in bowling average as captain and bowling average after captaincy - Tests (5 Tests as captain, 1000 balls afterwards, excluding multi-country teams)
Player Span Mat Wkts Ave BBI 5 Captain Mat Wkts Ave Diff
TL Goddard (SA) 1966-1970 8 35 17.85 6/53 1 1963-1965 13 24 36.33 -18.47
Intikhab Alam (Pak) 1976-1977 4 17 25.23 4/35 0 1969-1975 17 54 31.74 -6.50
S Venkataraghavan (India) 1979-1983 10 17 58.70 3/77 0 1974-1979 5 7 64.57 -5.86
GS Sobers (WI) 1973-1974 7 20 29.50 3/27 0 1965-1972 39 117 34.00 -4.50
CA Walsh (WI) 1998-2001 36 166 21.59 6/61 7 1994-1997 22 85 25.71 -4.12
IT Botham (Eng) 1981-1992 65 209 34.18 8/103 13 1980-1981 12 35 33.08 1.10
A Flintoff (Eng) 2008-2009 12 29 38.00 5/92 1 2006-2007 11 34 34.44 3.55
N Kapil Dev (India) 1987-1994 43 123 30.26 6/84 4 1983-1987 34 111 26.35 3.90
SM Pollock (SA) 2003-2008 40 143 27.79 6/39 2 2000-2003 26 103 21.36 6.42
Wasim Akram (Pak) 2000-2002 13 31 30.00 6/61 3 1993-1999 25 107 23.35 6.64
ST Jayasuriya (SL) 2003-2007 34 29 38.20 5/34 1 1999-2002 38 44 25.29 12.91
BS Bedi (India) 1978-1979 6 14 40.92 3/98 0 1976-1978 22 106 24.82 16.10
BE Congdon (NZ) 1976-1978 11 8 51.87 5/65 1 1972-1975 17 33 35.75 16.11
SR Tendulkar (India) 2000-2011 101 28 65.07 3/31 0 1996-2000 25 4 38.00 27.07
R Benaud (Aus) 1964-1964 3 7 53.85 4/118 0 1958-1963 28 138 25.78 28.06
Fazal Mahmood (Pak) 1962-1962 3 5 86.00 3/130 0 1959-1961 10 41 19.14 66.85
DS Atkinson (WI) 1957-1958 3 3 109.33 1/30 0 1955-1956 7 25 23.00 86.33

Shivnarine Chanderpaul led West Indies in 14 Tests and 16 ODIs in 2005-06 and didn't fare too well with the bat in either format in comparison to what came after. His Test mean was 47 and in ODIs it was 30. His performances improved considerably in the years after he was replaced as captain. Between 2006 and now, as a member of the ranks, Chanderpaul has averaged 62 in 35 Tests and 55.52 in 85 ODIs.

With his 104 in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final against India, Ricky Ponting became the sixth batsman to score a century in his final match as ODI captain, the others being Bevan Congdon, Ravi Shastri, Jacques Kallis, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kevin Pietersen, who made 111 in Cuttack in 2008 before the fallout Peter Moores. Dilshan, however, will take himself off that list when he captains Sri Lanka in England.

Difference in batting average as captain and batting average after captaincy - ODIs (10 ODIs as captain, 10 innings after, excluding multi-country teams)
Player Span Mat Runs Ave HS 100 Captain Mat Runs Ave Diff
S Chanderpaul (WI) 2006-2011 85 3387 55.52 149* 8 2005-2006 16 446 29.73 25.79
PA de Silva (SL) 1996-2003 136 4527 39.71 145 8 1992-1996 18 307 18.05 21.65
SM Gavaskar (India) 1985-1987 48 1776 44.40 103* 1 1980-1985 37 702 26.00 18.40
A Flower (Zim) 2000-2003 68 2516 41.93 145 3 1993-2000 52 1207 25.14 16.78
T Duffin (Zim) 2006-2007 10 298 29.80 88 0 2006-2006 13 248 19.07 10.72
SR Tendulkar (India) 2000-2011 216 9342 48.40 200* 24 1996-2000 73 2454 37.75 10.65
SM Pollock (SA) 2005-2008 61 857 29.55 90 0 2000-2005 92 630 19.09 10.46
SK Warne (Aus) 1999-2003 85 504 15.27 36 0 1998-1999 11 32 6.40 8.87
MO Odumbe (Kenya) 2002-2003 20 463 27.23 55 0 1996-2001 20 359 18.89 8.34
DPMD Jayawardene (SL) 2009-2011 42 1381 40.61 123 4 2004-2009 94 2555 32.75 7.86
A Flintoff (Eng) 2007-2009 26 410 24.11 78* 0 2006-2007 14 247 17.64 6.47
Moin Khan (Pak) 2003-2004 29 413 22.94 72* 0 1995-2001 34 401 18.22 4.71
T Taibu (Zim) 2007-2011 52 1591 33.85 107* 2 2004-2005 29 760 29.23 4.62
SC Ganguly (India) 2007-2007 30 1120 43.07 98 0 1999-2005 146 5082 38.79 4.28
Saeed Anwar (Pak) 2000-2003 47 1740 40.46 105* 3 1995-2000 11 363 36.30 4.16
AC Gilchrist (Aus) 2007-2008 17 569 37.93 118 1 2001-2007 17 554 34.62 3.30
PD Collingwood (Eng) 2009-2011 35 1129 38.93 105* 1 2007-2009 25 718 35.90 3.03
Younis Khan (Pak) 2010-2011 24 515 24.52 73 0 2005-2009 21 463 22.04 2.47
Wasim Akram (Pak) 2000-2003 65 683 20.08 49* 0 1993-2000 109 1341 17.64 2.44
K Srikkanth (India) 1990-1992 22 605 28.80 82 0 1989-1989 13 340 28.33 0.47

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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