Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The captaincy dilemma

Back in August 2009 I spoke to Michelle Crowther on ABC radio in Darwin, and I expressed concern about Shane Watson. You know things are bleak when you're relying on him. Agree? Much has come to pass since then, and I've almost come to terms with him opening for Australia now.


And now, by lack of alternatives, it seems he's leadership material.

While Michael Hussey may, this week, seem a reasonable option, it's not ideal. Firstly, age is not on his side (he'll be 36 in May). His current form has been nothing if not surprising, so he's not exactly consistent. Making him captain wouldn't be a step forward, and we desperately need to go forward. Still, maybe a potential interim option while tryouts are held in the gym for replacements for the other half-dozen 'tards who have long outstayed their welcome, and never really had a use.

Then there's our illustrious vice captain. While Michael Clarke is first in line to the throne, surely, surely that cannot eventuate. Granted it's not enough for the reason to be "because he's Michael Clarke" (though you and I both know it totally is). No, his performance speaks for itself. He's out of form, he's Michael Clarke, he's injury prone, he's not leadership material and he's Michael Clarke. It would be akin to when Mr G made Toby, the kid with Down Syndrome, the star of the arena spectacular on Summer Heights High. You were horrified that they went there, it put you on edge waiting for it all to go wrong, you might have laughed uncomfortably, but you knew it was a mockery and it just wasn't right. Enough said.

Which brings us to Shane Watson. Firstly, he's not even 30. I was actually surprised to find that out, but there we go. So he's got a few years left in him, if he can leave his injuries at the door. Secondly, he's reasonably consistent. It's a sad day when we're picking our leaders from those who are 'reasonably consistent'. Sure, he doesn't seem overly bright but then, we all know he's capable of a hissy fit that would make Punter proud, and that seems to be an essential selection criteria. Though it's probably fair to say we'd use all our referrals up within the first over, with Watson in charge.

So there we have it. It's not so much about why it should be Watto as why it shouldn't be the others. Next question is, will Ponting have vanished into the ether by the end of today? Or will it be post Sydney?

Truth is, he should have left on a high, and handed over as he won the urn back in 2006. But no, like an out-of-touch politician he's clung to power in a seriously undignified fashion. I wonder if he regrets that now.


Ruth Casey said...

Personally, I think that fact Michael Clarke is Michael Clarke is easily enough reason to not have him as captain. People need to respect the Captain of their team, and I have about as much respect for him as I do for a customer who calls his wife to check I am not swindling him with his .35c late fee.

Miss Field said...

Thirty five cents is about what Lara Bingle charges, I think.

Rishabh said...

Remember how we had Anil Kumble captain for a short while until Dhoni was ready for Test captaincy? Yeah, that may not be a bad move right now. Kumble was in poor form that last year, and you could do worse than Hussey (worse being Watson).

Angus said...

Good points. I have some thoughts too.
1) Who would Ponting have handed over to in 2006? Perhaps Haddin would have got it by default.
2) I would like to see Ponting give up the captaincy to someone else and then move to no. 6 and get some cheap hundreds late in his career like Tendulkar and Kallis.
3) Michael Clarke is Michael Clarke. It's reason enough for him not to be captain.
And finally:
4) I can't see Watson as captain. He wouldn't sleep in an old English castle because of the ghosts. Australian Test captains are not afraid of ghosts.

Rob said...

Brad Haddin (he is a lovely boy)?

Miss Field said...

@Rishabh, valid point, though I maintain we need a massive overhaul, not an interim solution.

Angus, seriously, number 4, did that happen?

@Rob... Brad Haddin is a bit of a nonentity to me. He's probably not even worthy of his place on the side as the keeper, so I would be disappointed if they picked him.

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