Friday, January 9, 2009

Captaincy- A Batsman's Right?

The last night's decision by the ECB to appoint Andrew Strauss as the captain for the upcoming series against the West Indies raised some questions as to whether captaincy is the job of the batsmen and rarely do bowlers are offered the job?This not only being the case regarding England team. But, a little bit of glance would reveal that if not for the New Zealand team, every other cricketing nation has elected a batsman as its skipper. The reason regarding the same is yet to be disclosed. Does anyone out thre know the funda of a batsman-captain relationship? If so, please tell me.

For, it has not been able for me to know as to what makes the selectors go in for batsmen when it come to selecting a captain for its side. For a team India, the present captain in M S Dhoni bats in addition to keeping wickets. And before Dhoni, it was handled by batsmen like Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Mohd Azharuddin. Very rarely has there been a captain who is a bowler rather than a batsman. The rare exception being that of Anil Kumble, who was made India's test captain at the fag end of his cricketing career. Neither was Javagal Srinath nor Venkatesh Prasad were given the job despite being at the top of the bowling in their playing days.

And, for the West Indies, after Courtney Walsh retired after the 1999 world cup, the captains have been Jimmy Adams, Carl Hooper, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle off late. For Australia, fellow legends- Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath were never offerred the job whatsoever. The predecessors for Ponting have been batsmen in Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Allan Border, with Adam Gilchrist & Ian Healy doing the job in their absense. For Pakistan, the last five captains have been Shoaib mailk (present), Inzamam Ul Haq, Moin Khan, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram. In this case, the two of them being bowlers.

For Sri Lanka, match winners in Mutiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vass were never ever offerred the job. Its been Sanath Jayasuriya, Marvan Attapattu, Mahela Jayawardane who took over the team's responsibility after another batsman Arjuna Ranatunga called it a day. The last bowler to captain England was, I guess was Dominic Cork, with no idea as to how long he continued. Then, it was Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain, Michael Vaughan and now Andrew Strauss. At present the only bowler who is found captaining his side is Daniel Vettori, who took over from fellow batsmen Stephen Fleming, Adam Parore and Lee Germon (1996).

Last but not the least we have South Africa, who have elected a batsmen in Greame Smith, after Pollock failed to move to the super sixes of the ICC world cup in 2003. Before that it was Hansie Cronje, who was precedeed by Kepler Wessels and Peter Kirsten. Never mind that the aforementioned players have done justice to their role, but, miking bowlers take on their side would surely persuade youngsters to take up the job of bowling, which is ever diminishing day to day, with ICC bringing new rules every now and then to make batsmen's life easy.

1 comment:

Betfair Cricket Master said...

A really interesting point, and something i've seldom heard brought up before. In fact i can't think of anyone else mentioning it.

Interestingly, For England at least, i can't think of one stand out bowler in recent years who could have been the captain. Not sure if this explains anything, but there you go.

For Australia however, i think Glenn McGrath would have made a brilliant captain.

I really would like to hear some explanations, but tahnks for the question...