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

Australia's next captain? Many candidates, none convincing

There are five players in the current squad who could take on the responsibility in another four years, but the future still looks bleak

Ian Chappell

March 24, 2013

Comments: 113 | Text size: A | A

David Warner chips down the ground, India v Australia, 3rd Test, Mohali, 2nd day, March 15, 2013
David Warner's attacking batting style may not necessarily affect his captaincy © BCCI

Apart from playing an aggressive brand of cricket, Australian teams have been renowned over the years for producing fast bowlers, young strokeplayers, wily legspinners and strong captains.

A spate of losses in India, a dearth of young stroke-making batsmen, and a bare cupboard when it comes to international-standard wristspinners, has Australia currently clinging hopefully to a good stock of fast bowlers and a tactically brilliant skipper. However, Michael Clarke's first Test match missed through injury has shown up the fact that Australia might also be struggling in the captaincy department if Clarke's baulky back restricts his playing future.

One of the more remarkable statistics in Australian cricket is the miniscule number of players who have been elevated to the captaincy. In 136 years of Test cricket, Shane Watson's appointment made it only 44. That means on average each Australian captain has had a span of around three years. Compare that with England, who in the same period have had 79 captains, equating to an average span of just over a year and a half for each.

A critical factor in choosing a Test captain is that he must be a permanent member of the side. Even though he's a talented cricketer, Watson would be lucky to his hold his spot on current form in a stronger Australian side. Throw in the fact that he was suspended for the previous Test for indiscipline and the picture regarding future Australian captains looks distinctly murky.

Let's say Clarke's terminally bad back allows him to perform his duties fully for another four years. Who in the current squad are the next full-time captaincy candidates?

The next captain would have to come from among David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Phillip Hughes or Moises Henriques. Now that sounds like an impressive list - most teams would be delighted to have five captaincy candidates in the touring party. However, on closer inspection the picture resembles a Romano rather than a Rembrandt, as none of those five choices has established himself as a Test player so far.

Wade and Warner are probably closest to that definition but they have drawbacks. Wade is a keeper and traditionally they are shunned as Australian captains, except in the fill-in category. Warner is an all-or-nothing batsman and this can create its own difficulties. It's hard to say to the rest of line-up: "Get your head down", when you've just holed out at third man in the first over.

Still, I wouldn't write off Warner as he will naturally become a little more conservative with age. Les Favell, the only first-class captain I played under, was very successful even though his approach to opening the batting made Warner look like a stonewaller.

Of those five candidates Warner and Smith seem to have the best tactical credentials on the evidence so far.

The real concern for Australian cricket is the failure of the system to throw up talented young batsmen. It is from this group that the bulk of the leaders arise, for the simple reason that the captain is usually a batsman and around the age of 27 is the ideal time to take over the leadership role. If a captaincy candidate comes into the Test side at around 20, hopefully he has matured, both as a cricketer and as a person, by the time he reaches his peak playing years.

Cracks have slowly been appearing in Australian cricket since the departure of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. However, the damage that has been inflicted by MS Dhoni and his men has turned it into a dire situation. When it comes to potential captains, young strokemakers and wristspinners, there are too many holes in the Australian dam and not enough fingers to go round.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator for Channel 9, and a columnist

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Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

The next captain should be bailey. That's final.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 8:39 GMT)

Probably from outside that list from future test players. Jordan Silk, Joe Burns, Ashton Agar, for example. Don't write off George Bailey becoming a test player/captain either.

Posted by true_point on (March 27, 2013, 8:11 GMT)

By far among the recent Aussie captains, Clarke is somewhat of a nice and decent guy which probably takes the edge out of him. He has not shown much aggression after taking over as captain. Neither is he as ill behaved like Pointing. But just being abrasively aggressive, does it ensure success in this gentlemanly sports? It might backfire since other teams also can and will give it back in abundance - they too are getting adept at playing the "mind games!!". After all "WHAT GOES AROUND; COMES AROUND".

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 27, 2013, 6:42 GMT)

Warner would be the best choice, he has a good cricketing mind and is aggressive which is what we want our captain to be. Outside of the list Khawaja and Siddle are options as well but Warner is the top option

Posted by Insult_2_Injury on (March 27, 2013, 3:53 GMT)

The current captaincy issue is not dissimilar to the Greg Chappell / Kim Hughes shuffle. I only hope they don't settle for Watson because there's no obvious Alan Border in the wings, otherwise we're in for 5 years of pain. Neither should the selectors be seduced by Clarke when available; he will not physically hold up over the next 3 years, so Australia could do much worse than promoting George Bailey (he can't possibly miss as much cricket as Watson) who has shown his credentials at State & Limited overs levels. At this crucial development time in so many players careers, we need to take the captaincy shuffle out of the equation and allow for one voice /one message, from a captain respected by players for his captaincy abilities. Australia has to be smarter than the Windies were with Lara, especially with 20 other cricketers careers on the line. Pick an experienced Bailey, get rid of rotation and let the young guys gain experience in all conditions , on all surfaces with one plan.

Posted by   on (March 27, 2013, 2:29 GMT)

I want to question Matthew Wade's place in the team. He just drops too many catches. He's not good enough to be there, and I'd much prefer Haddin, or Hartley as he is a better keeper. Sometimes bringing in the younger option just for the sake of it is not helpful. I believe he is proof of that. Also, we need more guys in the test team who don't play IPL, maybe CA should pay them more to be exclusive test & ODI players

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 23:27 GMT)

I would groom Steve Smith as next captain.

Most importantly though, I think CA need to give shield teams to the ACT and possibly NSW country. I think this could bring about a couple batsmen Australia don't have at the moment.

Posted by   on (March 26, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

Well Clarke is the man . It's the teams that has flaws not Clarke.I think he is committed to the team.I think Chris Rogers is a must pretty experienced guy n have Khwaja at3 n Hughes at 4 .No 6 got a b Alex Doolan and Haddin Should be in for wade

Posted by blink182alex on (March 26, 2013, 17:33 GMT)

How can Henriques, Smith, Wade, Hughes and Warner be an impressive list!

They are barely an impressive list of batsmen considering they all average under 40 in test cricket. How the hell can Henriques even be considered as a future captain, he shouldn't even be in any squad.

Hughes would be a maybe, as he is only 24 and seems as if he might be a main stay in the team for the next 10 years. There is no point speculating now though, it could be someone we've all never heard of who becomes the 45th skip.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (March 26, 2013, 1:41 GMT)

Michael Clarke a tactically brilliant skipper!! Where has Ian Chappell been? Clarke blundered by taking off Pattison after 3 overs when Patto put India on the ropes at 12 for 2 in Chennai, made a frivilous declaration at Hyderabad, dropped deserving players for trivial reasons in Mohali (a draw could have been secured at Mohali avoiding a whitewash), failed to bowl out SAF in Adelaide etc etc. And David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Phillip Hughes and Moises Henriques an impressive list!! LOL What is this, an attempt at humour?

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 26, 2013, 1:33 GMT)

There are a number of well qualified players that could fill into the senior roles easily - Bailey, O'Keefe, Paine could add much needed leadership to the squad... Except for Clarke the other top 6 are all averaging in the 30's at Test level with Watto showing a declining Test average which was @41.55 before being named VC & now since then is @24.11 - even Katich, North & Hughes were performing better when dropped from the team... Time to move on & build a team with experience that knows how to develop its younger players...

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 21:06 GMT)

I have stated many times .... look at the top six in the team and how many do you think are assured of a spot in 7-years time. Better still, how many will be in the team after the Ashes Tour in Australia?? Yes .... the ice is very, very thin!!!

I would put Cowan and Khawaja above the list that has been presented.

The problem in Australian Cricket is that it is too political even at grass roots level. Too many old men don't want to give our youth any opportunity. I know of several instances where players were restricted to the 3rd's in a Suburban Club ... they change clubs and are in the State Team in less than a year.

We will not find the next Ricky Ponting unless we take a hard look at grass roots cricket.

Now take a look at the age of players selected for the recent Lion's Tour, something I pointed out when the team was announced. Many players were far too old.

The other question is how secure in Watson's position, I love the guy but his recent average is 20

Posted by dariuscorny on (March 25, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

let it be ,but I see Australia winning coming Ashes coz they are going to improve as they hv two best pacemen Starc and pattinson and their batsmen will not get conditions like India in England,its just condition which made them surrender along with some exceptional performance from the opponent.no way goona Aus will be a pushover in Eng....just self belief and aggression of Aus of Steve waugh is required

Posted by HyderAKhan on (March 25, 2013, 19:58 GMT)

I have to say, a pretty sorry state of affairs in Australian cricket if the 5 mentioned are even considered as captaincy material. In my personal opinion, perhaps Shaun Marsh might be the next leader, but only if he can stay fit and do justice to the immense talent he has as a batsman by being more consistent. They can and should also give George Bailey a permanent test spot and he can fill in as captain if Clarke's back remains dodgy. He definitely seems like a gutsy cricketer with a good cricketing brain and know how of his own game.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 19:13 GMT)

i dont think clarke is a bad captain its just most of the players are either injured or out of form after watson injury he hasnt been the same phil hughes is off and on i think australia is missing hussey hes been one of the most consistant guys for a while now whatever happened to ryan harris and pat cummins

Posted by Surajdon9 on (March 25, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

Siddle need to be captain in TEST........

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 17:17 GMT)

There are three phases in domestic cricket, when national team becomes legendary. When team start to rise above average, severe competition at domestic level. For every position in team, there are five six quality players at fringe. After a while national team is unbeatable, players in it are selected automatically. They are busy playing international cricket, domestic players busy playing domestic cricket. Young people look for alternate sports (unlike in subcontinent) and talent pool entering domestic cricket becomes a thin. When greats retire, so do their equivalents from domestic cricket and start their coaching career, everyone lacks experience. it takes a while for young talents to flow into cricket. It takes a while for them to become quality players. When they rotate the players, players must be rotated via domestic system. That will inject the quality into domestic system and more young talents to try their luck in cricket. Neither WI nor AUS did that.

Posted by SevereCritic on (March 25, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

Maybe Australia's next skipper hasn't debuted yet. Why does it have to be from the current crop?

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 16:38 GMT)

Nobody in current Australian team is well suited for captaincy, If Smith will cement his place and emerge as a key player than he may be a choice but it is not going to happen may be, a new boy, a batsman will Lead in next 4-5 years after Clarke...after 3-5 yrs from now: India will also look for a new captain by than..Kohli and Pujara will lead the chart..SA will also look life after Smith..Du Plesis/de Villiers will lead..WI will be in Samuals or Darren Bravo's hand in Tests..NZ will have Kane Williamson as a Captain..Eng will have Joe Root as next but at least after 5 yrs..Situation for PAK will uncertain , Nasir Jamshed may be the next..for SL it may be eaither Mathews or Chandimal/K Parera will be the options :)

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 16:34 GMT)

When I saw Chappell's list of probable captaincy candidates I thought this is a Page 2 Cricinfo article.. But then this is the reality. I don't see anyone other than Clarke and Pattinson who are guaranteed a place in the 11. Siddle is a mediocre bowler who can do well only on green tracks that seam viciously but he happens to be their second best bowler at the moment so that tells you something about the bare cupboard. Phil Hughes? Try making runs outside Shield cricket, mate. Steve Smith? Seriously? Might as well have mentioned Glenn Maxwell in that list, Mr. Chappell! Mathew Wade and Henriques? Sorry state of affairs indeed. And Warner? Yeah Right. He can be a captain of Aussie Schoolboy XI. Oh wait, he did do his homework, right?

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 14:23 GMT)

i think shane watson can be captain

Posted by naveen187 on (March 25, 2013, 14:04 GMT)

I don't see Aus going the way of the West Indies. The have a formidable domestic structure and that should keep them in good stead for years.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 13:57 GMT)

Warner captain of a Test side? See-ball-Hit-Ball cricketers (Read Sehwag) don't work out in tough foreign conditions and with the age catching up their performance also goes down.

Posted by Ricas on (March 25, 2013, 12:42 GMT)

I am a 46 years old. Aussie. When I was a kid we played cricket in summer at morning tea, at lunch and after school. There were always kids playing in the nets and in the park. The nets and the park are now empty. Now I have kids. They are generally disinterested with cricket. Cricket is now just filler between the Rugby League or Aussie Rules Seasons. The same happened in the West Indies. Cable tv brought images of the NBL and NFL. Game over. If you want to know why the talented players aren't coming through, look at the school nets and parks.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT)

I know it's not really standard, but one of the young quicks could be contender. Starc and Pattinson both look like they're going to be mainstays. Both have good all-round skills. Starc seems like a pretty intelligent guy, and is playing in all three formats at the moment. Pattinson perhaps as more of a leader-by-example, but his aggressive approach may not suit the captaincy quite as well.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

@mike_b, i´m in complete agreement. I just don´t see how anyone can put forward players who average a century every 15-20 innings in FC cricket. In the world of 2 and 3 match test series you could feasibly go 3 series without hitting a century at that rate and still be good enough to stay in the team without question! What got us beaten in India and the last Ashes was the lack of century makers, playing the likes of Marsh, Ferguson and co. won´t help that. Far better off looking at a guy like Rogers to shore up the batting while the likes of Warner and Hughes, who hit centuries regularly, continue to make their way.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

I never see austalian team in pathetic situation ,I hope selectors will learn from current tour with India .

Posted by ooper_cut on (March 25, 2013, 10:20 GMT)

I am surprised Steve Simth is being considered captaincy material. He will not even feature in this current Oz side in a little while.

I think there has been too many chops and changes and too much of management interference in CA these days. Guys like Calum Ferguson, Cameron White, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Nathan Hauritz were all picked and dropped in a flash. I think those kind of players would have smoothed the transition a little bit, primarily because they were the ones who had played in the great era of Oz cricket and played along those greats. The next gen could have been slowly integrated into the team. Guys like Maxwell and Smith need a lot more exposure and maturity, they are products of the BBL.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 10:07 GMT)

For a fill-in why a batsman? I might be biased as I was a bowler myself but how often do you look at horrendous fields for bowlers set by captains and wonder why the bowler has no in put. For a fill in skipper why is Peter Siddle not on the list? He leads the bowling attack in the best way possible; by example. Maybe the team would play with more heart behind a captain who they know will give everything he's got....

For the future there is no doubt clarke will be captain for at least 3-5 more years. Who says batsman like young Jordan Silk or Joe Burns won't be ready to take his place? If Hughes gets over his mental demons who says he won't stand out as the next obvious leader (he already has more centuries to his name than watson)... Like most people I normally agree with you Chappell but not here

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

The error here is that 'Now that sounds like an impressive list' is nonsense. It sounds like scraping the bottom of a very shallow barrel and wiffs of desperation. If that rabble is all you've got to come, it looks like the Aussie public had better get used to competing only in the dumbed down forms of the game as test cricket needs a bit more grey matter. Watson is typical of the sort of player Australia is now producing: starts nicely but hasn't got the concentration levels to go on to make regular big scores, 20 or 30 overs and his head is shot.

Posted by uzairamir on (March 25, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

i think steven smith can be captain

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

I can see Clarke being there for a very long time irrespective of the Results, similar to Allan Border era in late 1980s and early 1990s.

Posted by tristen_kul on (March 25, 2013, 8:35 GMT)

Well, Cricket AUS works when they play in Aussie, but away from home... I doubt it sometimes. India is going really well at the moment, but maybe if it was India playing in AUS, maybe India would have a harder contest.

A NZ v India series would be great I think. I hope NZ cricket improves.

Anyway, #NZ v ENG go Blackcaps!

Go #NZ Blackcaps!

Posted by Protears on (March 25, 2013, 8:17 GMT)

I had said a while back when Australia where conquering all and everything that post dynasty is the hardest time, not that Australia is not producing fine talents but for the fact that these young talents have no more role models to guide them into the test arena which is very brutal on new players no matter how much talent you have. Then there is the mental side, if these youngsters as a unit get beaten comprehensively it affects the psyche.

This is why I believe Australia made the mistake 5 years ago when they could have groomed some players in slowly but surely but didn't in order to keep stability.

In South Africa we went through this phase after 2003 when we lost a core group and the national expectations where placed on a 22 year old to guide and build the team. It is only from 2007 that there appeared a promising future for south africa after 4 years of strife and toil. Australia are going to have to go through the growing pains.

Posted by krishkrish on (March 25, 2013, 7:50 GMT)

From the current lot i can see only Steve Smith as captincy material.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

I think there is one and only one option Aus have after Clarkie is Baily.. George Baily... he has done considerably well in ODIs and T20s... he looks calm and composed as a Captain... I Hope he could lead the team in test too... Aussie team needs a character like that at the moment, when Ashes is round the corner... I am great fan of Aussie cricket... and want them to do well against English men....come on guys BRING IT ON!!!!

Posted by Batmanian on (March 25, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

@balajik1968, you seriously didn't enjoy that series? I'm an Australian and I found it fascinating to watch a hopelessly outclassed Australia deal (badly) with the situation - some players shone at times, but mostly not. I also enjoyed watching India not taking its foot off and unnervingly executing victories from dominant positions. It was a great series. I even enjoyed watching Cowan clunk away as best he can - a player of such modest talent he wouldn't make the Shield squads of not so long ago. It's a different kind of cricket when your team's not as good as the opposition and out of its depth in the conditions, but it's still great to follow.

Posted by Alexk400 on (March 25, 2013, 2:34 GMT)

I normally agree 90% of ian chappell view. Not on this one. Watson is better than all the people he mentioned. David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Phillip Hughes or Moises Henriques. Watson need to bowl though. Because he can bat better than all of the people chappell mentioned but i think when you are captain , you have to bring in two discipline so if you are out of form in one thing you still can hold to the spot. For example Dhoni Test batting is iffy and actually worse but his wicket keeping kept him in the job. So thats why watson has to bowl if he wants to be captain.

Posted by   on (March 25, 2013, 0:43 GMT)

I really think the hit and giggle cricket that is T20 as well as the Gen Y nature of wanting things yesterday works against the current crop of players, they need to get their heads down, play the long but productive innings (not a Cowan innings though), or bowl the ball at the stumps not bowl waiting for the batsman to make a mistake, and we will do a lot better.

Posted by Beertjie on (March 25, 2013, 0:14 GMT)

A disappointing article, Chappelli, putting the cart before the horse.

A disappointing article, Chappelli, putting the cart before the horse. Many new players will enter the team each year and you're looking for a successor to Clarke. A stand-in is what you should have been writing about, and the first name in the team going forward has to be a capable 'keeper. Wade is fine as long as there are no good spinners, but it is clear that Agar will debut within 12 months. Wade will be instrumental in putting his career in a tailspin, so the sooner he goes, the quicker that issue can be laid to rest. Of course, Paine's batting has been weak this season, but this an issue that can easily be addressed short term. Haddin is a good stand-in, but for the return series someone else needs to be ready. Will that be Paine, or someone else. Whoever, it is should deputize for Clarke and keep well to genuine spinners.

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 25, 2013, 0:03 GMT)

There is no doubt about it, Watson and Cowan are protected speices. The current crop of Aussies are literally the least deserving to wear the baggy green in history.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (March 24, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

What about George Bailey? If they bring him into the side now, he could be a permanent member of the team by 2015. He already captains the T20 side.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 24, 2013, 23:41 GMT)

@ccv1 on (March 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT), I think you'll find that Chappell is talking about aggression in the sense of playing positive cricket, not sledging. Many people think that they do, or should, go hand in hand but that is not the case.

Posted by mike_b on (March 24, 2013, 23:30 GMT)

@gregjones - you've put the boot into the selectors big time with your posts & then you put forward your own Ashes squad.I notice you obviously agree with the selectors on 1 thing.You've only got 1 keeper there mate! You cannot do a 5 test tour of England with 1 keeper! Another thing I don't understand, is the way people bang on about Ferguson & pick him in their "like-to-see"squads.The guy is a 30something averager & plays his home games in Adelaide! He isn't going to rock on into test cricket & suddenly average 40+. We need guys who average 40+ in first class cricket. Cowan for eg.is a 30+ in 1st class cricket & of course that's what he does in test cricket. It isn't good enough.We need to look at guys who can average at least 40+ in the Shield & that includes stalwarts like Rogers(200+games-49.9av.)D.Hussey(169games-52av.) or young guns like Silk(only 5 innings but 2 100s & one 50) or Burns(26games-42av.). This 72 games,36av.(Ferguson) & 77games,35av.(Marsh) stuff just won't cut it!

Posted by Leed1975 on (March 24, 2013, 23:26 GMT)

If one of the criteria for captaincy is automatic selection, let's look at those that would be automatically selected for the Indian tour if it were to start tomorrow. Based upon the players actual performance over the last month: Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Starc, Siddle, Lyon. That's your choice of captains. No Warner, Watson, Wade, Hughes or Henriques. Realistically, as a replacement for Clarke, the choice is either Smith or Cowan and given that Smith has only played two tests...

Cowan has the sensitivity of occasion and history that Waugh showed whilst also having the no-frills, get on with the job, bloody minded determination of Ponting, Waugh, Taylor and Border. His only draw back is that Ian Chappell doesn't like him.

Although Chappell was a succesful captain in his own right, perhaps the fact that he only experienced one other captain denies him a true scope of what other attributes can make a successful captain.

Posted by bobagorof on (March 24, 2013, 22:29 GMT)

@gregjones: Jumping on the Steve Smith bashing bandwagon, I see. Smith's average in India was second only to Clarke's, and he was the fourth highest run-scorer for Australia despite playing only 2 of the Tests. Sure, his bowling won't get him selected in the side (and never should have), but as a batsman he looks much improved. With a few other recent Australian players doing pretty poorly at domestic level (David Hussey averaged about 20, as has Peter Forrest) I think that Australia could do worse than to look at developing Smith

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 21:14 GMT)

I am very surprised that he pointed out a problem that may arise only after 3 or 4 years(by that time some of the players would have been matured and settled their places) but chose to ignore the more critical issues they are facing currently.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

It´s really pretty simple, there just isn´t any clear successor to Clarke right now. I don´t really see how this is even an issue, a lot of the time long term VC´s don´t end up taking over the captaincy in any case. It was an age between AB taking on the captaincy and Tubby taking on the captaincy, Waugh was in the team before him! If I recall correctly Healy was VC for a long time and right up until Tubby retired and was then frogleaped by Waugh? People will look at the likes of Hughes, Warner, Wade and co. right now and simply dismiss any possibility of them captaining the team, but then again they probably would have thought the same of a 25 year old Clarke or Ponting too, both of whom have enjoyed more than their fair share of press in regards to their off field activities.

Bailey, White, DHussey, Ferguson, Voges, Hodge, S.Marsh and co can be forgotten about all together, not going to happen, nor should it!

Posted by Someguy on (March 24, 2013, 20:40 GMT)

I seriously do not get all the Steve Smith hate I read everywhere. His technique is a bit unorthodox, but apart from Clarke, he was the only Australian batsman to show any composure in India. I don't recall him getting out playing a poor shot, like all the other batsman did repeatedly, just good balls. He looked great against the spinners. Moved his feet well. I was pleasantly surprised, because until he batted in Mohali I had no idea what he was doing in the squad.

As far as I'm concerned, Smith has earnt his place in the team on the back of his performance in India. Watson has earnt a nice long rest to find some form on the back of 2.5 years of miserable failure. If he is not bowling, Watson should not be in the team. If he is bowling, he should be batting at 6-7. He doesn't have the ability to convert a start, he should just be doing some lower order hitting with the tail.

Posted by ccv1 on (March 24, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

Ian Chappell, and many Australian writers for that matter, write so proudly about Australian aggression on the field as if itis the source of their winning. People from opposing sides put up with that nonsense because Aussies were winning. People confused that with the reason for their winning. Now if they keep losing like this and still show attitude, they will be mocked at - not imitated by other sides.

Posted by balajik1968 on (March 24, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

I never thought that Australia would face a paucity of batsmen. If Chappell is right, domestic cricket is what Australia needs to seriously address, to get back. Clarke is'nt going to last too long. He is already in his 30's with a chronic back problem. These injuries tend to get worse at this age. I am an India supporter, but I have always enjoyed watching Australia play. This series is the first one where I did'nt enjoy it.

Posted by ravi2047 on (March 24, 2013, 16:48 GMT)

I feel the Australian selectors are still in search for replacements for players like Ponting, Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist. On the other hand, all of a sudden they now have to search for a long time replacements for recently retired players like Hayden, Hussey, etc. This makes the Australian side a new, in-experienced one altogether.

Posted by crickketlover on (March 24, 2013, 16:43 GMT)

We need a Border or Waugh ASAP to manage the current Australia cricket players if Clarke health condition does prevent him from returning as captain. The players are behaving like kids. Warner should focus on his batting rather than sledging. Watson should be more responsible in shot selection - the manner in which he got out in the second innings was unacceptable. Both of them are not captain material. For the sake of Aus Cricket, we need Clarke healthy for atleast another two years to help the team, as in my opinion Clarke is one of the best captains in the world. Also, his batting performance has been superb ever since he became captain.

Posted by gregjones on (March 24, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Mr. Chappell's list of future captains like Warner, Steve Smith of all people and Henriques is truly funny."Warner's attacking style will not affect his captaincy" is humorous.First please check how many runs has Warner scored in India with his "attacking style".These players are not even fit to be in the test team.Add to that, Glen Maxwell,Smith and Shane Watson (if he is not able to bowl) should be out of the team asap.The selectors have proved to be a true joke as they thought that Glen Maxwell who was bought for 1.5 million by some geniuses in the IPL would be a great addition to the test team.Such is the mindset of today's selectors.Maxwell is one talented all rounder who cannot bat, bowl and field and he was picked in the test team only due to the circus called the IPL which has destroyed test cricket.The whole Aussie selection has been nothing but a joke and no so called expert is even talking about it.

Posted by gregjones on (March 24, 2013, 16:20 GMT)

Mr. Chappell is writing columns these days for the sake of it. Or was he himself made captain in such a fashion? These days almost every senior Australian is trying to complicate everything on sight, be it a selector or an ex-player.Simple logic cannot be expected from these so called experts.Anyway just for the sake of selecting a team, my team 15 for the Ashes: Cowan, Marsh, Bailey, Clarke, Ferguson,Khwaja or Voges, Hughes, Wade, Johnson, Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Cutting or Hazlewood,Lyon, Steve O'Keefe.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

surely Will Bosisto will be given a chance in the future and should be groomed as a captain candidate from the outset.

Posted by gregjones on (March 24, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Absolute disaster of a performance by the OZ in India and Mr. Chappell's list of future captains like Warner, Steve Smith of all people and Henriques is truly funny."Warner's attacking style will not affect his captaincy" is humorous.First please check how many runs has Warner scored in India with his "attacking style".These players are not even fit to be in the test team.Add to that, Glen Maxwell,Smith and Shane Watson (if he is not able to bowl) should be out of the team asap.The selectors have proved to be a true joke as they thought that Glen Maxwell who was bought for 1.5 million by some geniuses in the IPL would be a great addition to the test team.Such is the mindset of today's selectors.Maxwell is one talented all rounder who cannot bat, bowl and field and he was picked in the test team only due to the circus called the IPL which has destroyed test cricket.The whole Aussie selection has been nothing but a joke and no so called expert is even talking about it.

Posted by Batmanian on (March 24, 2013, 15:47 GMT)

@Timothy Daniel Carrier, no way will a fast bowler be long term captain for Australia; rotation/mileage management is here to stay.

That said, I thought the Beige Brigade podcast dismissing Siddle's merits for looking 'a b't th'ck' was shallowness at its worst. And Australians are no better. Most Australians didn't think Clarke had the chops to lead when he came in. Most Australians don't even realise that it was Warne's tactical counsel that made Waugh look so good as a captain; many Australians, including cricket watchers, think Warne is a bit thick too! We are so lucky to have Clarke; he doesn't really have much in the way of lieutenants able to combine onfield reliability with tactical insight.

Australia stands a slightly better chance in England. The combination of the climate, pitches, spin and superior batting depth of India was genuinely insurmountable for this Australian squad - Clarke double tons might have saved a test or two, but apart from that there was no answer.

Posted by Batmanian on (March 24, 2013, 15:35 GMT)

The only first-class captain I played under! I love it.

Posted by realfan on (March 24, 2013, 15:30 GMT)

clarke is the best captain they have right now ( i wonder how he managed the behavior of warner, johnson, pattinson on others ) but clarke is a team man, he need to be captain for AUS team, if they need to return to their best again.....

or else i have other option , PETER SIDDLE ( the never tiring demon ) he is team man, he play for team's pride.... make him captain ( its not like a bowler cant be a captain right?)

i am a indian, but i want AUS to be back to their best

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 15:06 GMT)

Chappell is right to suggest that Australia should be worried about having to pick from those players for our next captain.

However, there is an obvious choice for the next captain and in my opinion he should be our vice-captain ahead of Watson already. He is also the most permanent fixture in the side other than Clarke.

I am of course talking about PETER SIDDLE. Why is it that every potential captain/vice captain option has to be a batsman or a keeper. Siddle is streets ahead of anyone else by my reckoning - fixture in the side, gives his all with the bat and ball and leads by example.

Australian selectors are stupid to overlook him as a VC option for Clarke and they would be stupid to overlook him as captain if Clarke went down injured like in the last Test. We'd have been better of playing Khawaja as a batsman instead of Watson and handing Siddle the armband.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (March 24, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Sorry But Tim paine is a better keeper Australia can have and also the next captain and next in line should be Steve Smith. For Ashes Australian team should be Hughes (Last Chance), Watson (If he bowls), S.Marsh, Smith, Clarke, Bailey, Paine, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Lyon. Subs: Bird, Fergusson, Cummins, Doolan, Rogers. Time to Drop Warner, he cant be Sehwag or Gayle. Cowan needs to go back to shefiled and county cricket.

Posted by rajattiwaari on (March 24, 2013, 14:53 GMT)

@geoff opray: tell me how many 23 years old have scored 22(or something like that) first class centuries?? Phil Hughes deserves to be in the OZ side.There were atleast four instances in this series when he was unlucky to get out.

Posted by first_slip on (March 24, 2013, 14:33 GMT)

Wade? you got to be kidding Ian, wade was the worst ever International keeper i've seen, there is no fear of getting caught behind or getting stump for the batsment long as they know Wade is the keeper lol

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

Of the current touring party, only Steve Smith looks like future captaincy material. he showed maturity while batting, which was very rare from the current bunch of aussies. While Watson was a joke in this match, both batting wise & captaincy wise. Opening both batting & bowling with Maxwell defies all logic.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 14:24 GMT)

If I were an Australian supporter, I'd be looking at the batting and wondering if Clarke were unavailable, who exactly would be getting runs? Other than Clarke, all of the recent members of the top six have averages under 40 and some are going backwards fast - notably Watson and Hughes - to early thirties. I have the utmost respect for Peter Siddle and wonder why he isn't mentioned as a potential captain - 150 wickets at 28 and a pair of fifties in the test finishing earlier today - other than Clarke, he is the only (in my opinion) automatic selection for Australia at present.. and so should be considered.

Posted by gregjones on (March 24, 2013, 14:03 GMT)

Even Lyon has been average and he is fit to take wickets only on huge turning dustbowls like he did in Delhi.Pinning hopes on him will prove suicidal again if he is picked as the lone spinner in the Ashes.He was provided with turners in all the test matches like the Indian spinners but he fared poorly except for the last test when it mattered little.And the Aussie batting lineup resembled like a 20-20 team selection.Top players of spin like Shaun Marsh,George Bailey,Callum Ferguson,Voges,Cameron White,Klinger or even Hodge were not even considered and bits and pieces players like Maxwell,Henriques,Smith and even Watson who is a liability if he does not bowl as he has no temperament and concentration for big scores particularly when he is coming at the top of the order. Another funny part was the rotation policy of the OZ selectors against Sri Lanka.I suppose they should now rotate and replaced all the current players that are playing in India for the Ashes.

Posted by Rags57 on (March 24, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

What a pity it is that we have this situation in a country that dominated cricket for so long. A country that won 16 tests in a row under Steve Waugh and one that boasts three world cup wins in a row. Are Australians suffering the same crisis that West Indies have gone through after dominating the world for so long? West Indies don't have a great domestic system but Australia indeed prides itself on their Shield system. Why is the system not throwing up good batsmen or good leaders?

Posted by torsha on (March 24, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Warner? Are you serious? There is no way a guy who just shows irrelevant aggression and sledging can suit for captaincy position.It should be cool heads like Clarke and Hussey.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 12:56 GMT)

I respect Ian Chappell and his cricket opinions but how can he possibly mention Hughes. A guy who cannot bat, cannot run between wickets, has no technique, has failed at almost every level he has played and if he is suited to any level it would only be 20/20 where his lack of technique is of no concern. His inability to learn and to improve renders him unfit even for selection. If he is selected to go to England then the selectors will confirm they have lost the plot.

Posted by peter.suen on (March 24, 2013, 12:34 GMT)

Who's the next aussie captain is the least of our worries at this stage. Just fielding 11 good players seems to be impossible. Or perhaps we do have the players and that the selectors seems reluctant to pick them.

Clarke has done a fantastic job so far, and it must be said that a couple of years ago before Ponting quit the captaincy everyone was doubting Clarke including myself. He has shown to be able to thrive on the responsibility and mature through captaincy.

Chappelli is right in that you need someone who is actually a permanent member of the team. At the moment it doesn't seem like we have anyone other than Clarke who is considered permanent.

Posted by Sir.Ivor on (March 24, 2013, 12:11 GMT)

I am surprised that Cowan has not been mentioned in dispatches. He is a good batsman as he proved against Steyn and co back home amd now against quality spin in India. That apart what is most heartening is that he is not the bar bouncer type. He is articulate and writes well. He could be the next Mr Cricket for Australia as good old Michael Hussey came to be known as with his cricketing prowess.Australia needs someone with that image right now.Not the coarse mouthed people we got a glimpse of in the course of the Delhi Test. Cowan will be an excellent captain even if he will never betoo demonstrative with his sledging as say Watson would be if he becomes the Captain.When the team starts losing it is always better to win hearts.It helps Ian as you will see.Australia could do with a new image.Bradman never sledged as we all know.Australian cricket was at the top then. Sledging may have been the recipe when they were winning everything.Not now. Australian cricket needs some thought now.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 11:52 GMT)

This is a fascinating question. Let's assume that Clarke is injured and Watson gets dropped for poor form. I would back none of the current batsmen or Wade to be an automatic inclusion in the team, while the bowlers don't seem to have much desire to take the reins. In the short-term there is simply no-one. In the medium term (say 18 months - 2 years in the future) I would probably surprisingly back Maxwell. He seems aggressive, is keen to adjust the field for his bowling, and in just his second match already has 7 wickets. If he can play up to his established ability with the bat I can see him eventually being the permanent captain-middle-order bat who can also be the fifth bowler.

Posted by cricktexpert on (March 24, 2013, 11:33 GMT)

clarke a "tactically brilliant skipper"?????? what a joke......

Posted by Busie1979 on (March 24, 2013, 11:27 GMT)

Preferably, I'd go with Siddle - I don't care that he is a bowler, or that he may not be among the top 3 fast bowlers in a couple of years, and may miss the odd game with injury or rotation. The fact is he is a leader - he is a workhorse and leader by example, whether he's batting or bowling, and it is obvious that the rest of the team looks up to him.

I think Maxwell is captaincy material, provided he can prove he belongs at test level. It is early days - he needs a bit of time to develop to become a test regular. He has a bit of mongrel, a bit of arrogance, raw talent, and a willingness to try make things happen. He needs to develop discipline and concentration.

Chappell can't bring himself to throw Cowan into the mix. I think the selectors want to make him the next captain - which is why he's getting this extended run. He's got a good defence - if he starts figuring out how to score runs, he could be a very good batsman and a contender for captaincy. Big ifs.

Posted by Clyde on (March 24, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

With the rise of the new, scientific and highly undefined 'culture' around Test cricket, with its 'elite-athlete' notion, who really is going to want to go out and have a bat anyway? Ian does not say, here, why those proven top-class batsmen from whom to select a captain are not in evidence. Is it that, my first thought, few would want to try it for any money? Or is it that Australia is aiming too high? Vis-a-vis India, for example, doesn't Australia have the population problem that New Zealand does? Why not, for a while, accept that Australia's batting level does go much, if at all, better than an average of 40 in first-class matches, if we don't count retired Test players? With this resignation, it would become clear when the next good batsman came up. I do hope, though, that the highly fetishised new 'culture' has not nobbled, or at least rendered unattractive, State level as well.

Posted by Jaffa79 on (March 24, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Smith??? Cowan??? It is like some kind of sick joke! The line of Aussie captains is an impressive list of cricketers. Having an average cricketer as a captain would make a joke of that lineage. How about Siddle? He is a honest cricketer who would lead with heart and pride if nothing else. How could you possibly listen to Steve Smith giving a team talk without laughing?

Posted by Shaggy076 on (March 24, 2013, 11:14 GMT)

Warner should never captain Australia, he is a poor public speaker and can only talk about himself. as well as his stupid agression getting into fights on the field. It would be a very dark day if he ever became captain. Ian Chappell really doesnt like Cowan to put Warner as captain material before him.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 11:09 GMT)

None of the players suggested by Ian Chappel are fit enough to step into captaincy as at present because they have to first get assured of their places in the test team on a regular basis which in itself is in jeopardy considering their awful batting performances in india -

Posted by DaveFromFreo on (March 24, 2013, 11:05 GMT)

Wouldnt it be a priority to pick the team before picking the captain. With none of the most likely candidates averaging over 40, they're all still very much indoubt for the next test let alone the resonsibility of captaincy

Posted by atpoint on (March 24, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Chappelli is right - until Australian selectors can identify and pick young batsmen with solid techniques, good temperaments and the ability to be consistent ... it won't matter who is captain.

Posted by goldeneraaus on (March 24, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

what is this obsession with bailey? average of 40 over a long period of time points to solid but not spectacular AND this season he has averaged less than 20.. he is a great guy we get it but not worth a spot in the 11

Posted by Sanj747 on (March 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

Yes no one stands out. Cowan the best of the bad lot. We have Warner, Waston and Wade our 3Ws who can't hold a bat let alone score a run, can't bow nor wicket keep. Bailey should be in the team. A shortage of performing and keen batsmen. Warner plays for the Delhi Daredevils and should know the conditions in Delhi. Very poor effort. The experimentation has not worked on tour with Maxwell, Henriquies, Doherty not being able to deliver at the top level. Selectors, players and management should take responsiblity. Hard to see any improvement with the current set up. Keen to go to SAF next year and watch a test when we play SAF but hard to see us fielding a competitive team unless there is a major change in Cricket Australia. James Sutherland needs to stand up and show leadership.

Posted by willsrustynuts on (March 24, 2013, 9:50 GMT)

"...a tactically brilliant skipper."

Do your 'homework'. Clarke is average as a Captain at very best. If you believe otherwise you are looking at this problem through rose tinted goggles and it will be some time before you find the right man for the job.

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Why do people keep mentioning George Bailey who has averaged in the teens for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield this year? There are better batsmen in his own state side. Forget Khawaja who is the worst behaved player in this current squad - he should look at how Steve Smith has improved. Smith was a great captain of the Sydney Sixers last season. It would be good if he had more responsibility at NSW. Doolan and Burns are promising batsmen who could develop leadership skills in the future....

Posted by here2rock on (March 24, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

I can not believe that they have not picked Bailey in the Test Side. He is a real good batsman and probably a better captain than Clarke.

Posted by thenoostar on (March 24, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

As an NZ fan, I remember the 1994/95 series when AUS A played and made the final and would have beaten most international sides in the world. How the mighty have fallen!

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

the next captain should be wade

Posted by handyandy on (March 24, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

To be honest a very poor range to select from. Probably Cowan would be best suited ... provided he could hang onto his spot.

From outside the team ... Bailey, O'Keefe or perhaps White. Thing is that none could be considered unless they could first demonstrate that they are test quality.

Posted by wix99 on (March 24, 2013, 7:13 GMT)

I have been impressed by Steve Smith's attitude on this tour of India. He is a much improved batsman who has the ability to both bat cautiously and score runs quickly depending on the situation. He should be come a permanent fixture in the side at No. 6 and would certainly make a good captain.

Posted by ygkd on (March 24, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Tim Paine would do, but he'd have to be in the team first. That's the point - Clarke was selected with an eye to future captaincy, but that process is not being repeated under his watch, or is it? Maybe it could be Khawaja? But he's not getting a run either. Therefore, one could reasonably conclude that the annointed one must be amongst Cowan, Warner, Smith, Hughes and Wade. They're the ones who are getting a run. Maybe we're waiting and waiting for one of them to stick their hand up and prove their worth. But that's not quite how it happened with Clarke....

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

@ tanweeralam According to you, Australia had no leg-spinners prior to 1993.

Better inform Messrs Grimmet, O'Reilly and Benaud! You've wiped them off the map!

Protip: Cricket existed before you were born!

Posted by phunny_game on (March 24, 2013, 6:39 GMT)

@i-like-cricket: Dude, its just been a year and a half, when Zaheer Khan was considered the best left armer in the world. Top wicket taker in the 2011 WC. producing breakthroughs almost at will. Jimmy Anderson has just lifted his game a few years ago...

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 24, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

This line is a fantastic piece of writing: "David Warner, Matthew Wade, Steven Smith, Phillip Hughes or Moises Henriques. Now that sounds like an impressive list."

Impressive list? Not really, as only Warner just averages over 40, & his average has dropped by 6 or so runs this tour! That is a very unimpressive list!

From the way things are going, I think it may be closer to 4 months rather than 4 years before Clarke is given the boot, considering the high speed at which the Aussie test team is unravelling. Is a test debut lurking around the corner for George Bailey? Not only has he proved to be a steady skipper, but he even has a higher ODI average than any of the candidates listed.

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 24, 2013, 6:16 GMT)

@ I-Like-Cricket You just used Jimmy Anderson's name in a list of fast bowlers. Has your defense of aggression somehow clouded your mind? Even Chris Martin feels comfortable facing up to wee lil Jimmy!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 24, 2013, 6:14 GMT)

@Captain_Oblivious: Man, that's just 2 players you named out of an entire squad. Besides, Harbhajan is not even playing in this test match. That's the difference between the 2 teams, the Indians have 1 or 2 guys who talk too much but the ENTIRE Aussie squad talks too much which is why they are 3-0 down in the series. Empty vessels make hell of a noise without providing anything to the thirsty or the hungry. The Aussies need to chill down and think about ways to improve in the subcontinent. Cause as it stands now, they look weaker than an associate nation.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (March 24, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

@I-Like-Cricket: Well I bet you would have learned at school that empty vessels make more noise. Yeah cause that's what the Aussies are - a bunch of empty vessels making meaningless noise out in the middle. You guys are 3 zip down and WOW ! look at all the bravado coming from your mouths. That makes India's objectives that much more clearer. Nothing less than a 4-0 result would shut the Aussies for good. Another 10 losses coming up for your boys courtesy England.

Posted by phunny_game on (March 24, 2013, 6:07 GMT)

Probably siddle is better than any of the suggested lot... And he is more likely to be in the team till clarke hangs his boots than Steven smith, Henriques, or maybe even David Warner....

Posted by Captain_Oblivious on (March 24, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

@ Sundararajan Chari - Yes, the Aussies can be a bit over the top with their aggression at times. Maybe they need etiquette lessons from the gentlemanly Virat Kohli and Harbajhan Singh... As for the topic of this article, slim pickings indeed. I think Australian sport in general is going through tough times, with kids playing less sport these days. But that's just my opinion....

Posted by righthandbat on (March 24, 2013, 5:10 GMT)

Siddle or Lyon would make better captains than any of those suggested. Lyon in particular would be a good choice - he is about the right age and if he is still bowling well by the time Clarke retires I think he'd be perfect for the job. Cowan would be good as a captain if he is playing well as a sort of 'interim' captain before the next big thing, or whatnot. Warner or Wade strike me as more suited to the vice-captaincy.

Posted by I-Like-Cricket on (March 24, 2013, 5:09 GMT)

@Sundararajan Chari. Get off your high horse mate. At least none of our blokes are flipping off anyone in the crowd because their performances have been poor (remember Virat when you were over here) aggression is part of a winning culture and all the best teams use it to their advantage. If you'd have watched the recent test series between South Africa and Pakistan you would know that by now. Any decent fast bowler will be incredibly aggressive also ala Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Dale Steyn, Jimmy Anderson and the list goes on and on. the problem for Indin's in their country hasn't produced a great fast bowler in ages. Just to add to that, Australia are still in this current test match, which is definitely something India can't claim when they were over here, other than perhaps before Tendulkar was dismissed in Melbourne.

Posted by Ross_Co on (March 24, 2013, 4:10 GMT)

Ed Cowans will be the next Australian Captain in all probability - not even in the list of 5. Chappelli's losing it.

Posted by Hardy1 on (March 24, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

I liked Watson's captaincy today, think you're harsh on him, although realistically yes, you can't really see him in the team in 4 years time. Cowan's 30 too so I guess that's why you didn't include him. Smith is the one I'd be looking at, but then it's pretty absurd to be talking about him or Henriques captaining having just played their first Tests. How about Lyon?

Posted by tanweeralam on (March 24, 2013, 3:27 GMT)

wily legspinners??? Common Ian Shane was exceptional ...remotely you can include MacGill. Who else?

Posted by farkin on (March 24, 2013, 3:16 GMT)

instead of pointing out the obvious how about getting past players to get out and help the up and comers and the current side to talk to them about how they got past injury or how they handled bad over seas tours or have the past players forgotten what it was like and can only point out what is wrong with the current side

Posted by farkin on (March 24, 2013, 3:09 GMT)

"Australia's next captain? Many candidates, none convincing" wow you just seen that ! well if the selectors would pick players and not some of the dross that is in the team and commentators would give support to players and not talk them down we may have some one who would be a good captain but they all don't so that is one reason why

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

Mr. Chappel, why did u considered only batsmen for captaincy? Siddle, Pattinson, Starc are performing well. It feels, they will be the part of team for long time. Is it a fact that Aus don't consider a bowler for captaincy? You are proving this fact. -Kaustubh

Posted by Greatest_Game on (March 24, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

The myth of Clarke the "tactically brilliant " captain is once again reinforced, but as always no actual evidence is offered. Homeworkgate is never going to be up there in the list of brilliant tactical decisions. Indeed, dropping a third of the bench, with an injured keeper, will sit high on the list of tactical blunders. However, as the only skipper to declare a first innings and then lose by an innings, he does appear at the top of the "really bad declarations" list. His late declaration vs SA in Adelaide showed no tactical nous. A bowler down, time was his enemy, not runs. He had already seen that the injured Kallis would bat well & defend solidly, & that the debutant had limpet like qualities. He knew SA's tail, bar Tahir, is no pushover - he was present when Steyn scored 76, keeping Duminy company for 4 hours. History shows that he misread the opportunity, and ultimately handed the series to SA. Another entry on the bad declarations list. Tactical genius - no way!

Posted by baskar_guha on (March 24, 2013, 2:32 GMT)

I would vote for Steven Smith as captain. But for that to happen, Australia needs to keep playing him so that he gets better and better. Easily the best Australian batsman in India outside of Clarke - talent and temperament wise

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 2:28 GMT)

I'd be one of the last to conflict with the far superior knowledge and opinions of the revered ( genuinely ! ) Mr Chappell ... but events in NZ at the moment are "interesting" ? ... and maybe we should reserve at least some of our judgements and see what happens when this severely shell shocked bunch regroup and start again in England later this year ?

Posted by   on (March 24, 2013, 2:07 GMT)

More than finding a strong captain for Australia, they should find a sportive captain like Clarke.. None of the players from the existing squad will qualify for the post - be it Watson, Warner or Wade.. May be Smith to certain extent qualify. First of all, the Aussies should be graceful in defeats (Clarke is an exception). They call and all our 'CHAMCHA' commentators call the behaviour of Aussies on field as 'aggressive' but it is nothing but 'bad losers' behaviour. It is so funny that Watson, known for his big mouth and silly behaviour, has been made the captain and what can you get out of such a team he is leading. It will be full of 'street fighters' and 'rowdies'. It was also surprising to see Pattinson, relatively a new comer and a quite personality hitherto, started giving mouth-fulls to Indian batsmen. Very sorry state of affairs.Aussies definitely need some psychological treatment and it is the endeavour of Arthur to provide that first. SHAME ON YOU AUSSIES!

Posted by Nightwing32 on (March 24, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

Hughes and Smith if they stick around seem the best options at the moment that play in the test side. It is possible for maybe a player coming through the ranks though in the next few years.

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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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