Monday, December 27, 2010

Australian Cricket mismanaged

Australia is never going to be as successful at sport as we used to be. The rest of the world is more interested and with more opportunity. Meanwhile our interests have switched to more sedentary activities. Still the current state of Australian Cricket (hitting an amazing low on the first day of the MCG test) seems to be significantly caused by mismanagement.

Ricky Ponting showed why he is such a bad and unsuccessful captain at the start of the England innings. He held a huddle to gee everyone up. Richie Benaud was immediately critical. It was essential that the bowlers stayed calm and put the ball in the right spot. Instead they tried too hard and immediately sprayed the ball around. We can well imagine that this has been a feature of Ponting's captaincy. It is also bad for the batsmen. We need them to bat a long time, and you can't do that if you are trying too hard. We need batsmen who can still focus while staying calm.

Some of the coaching staff do know what they're doing, as we saw when they took Mitchell Johnson out for one test and sorted him out for Perth. Still we need to restore calmness in the coaching department. Let's start by making Mark Taylor head coach.

The tendency of players to play on and on has destroyed the natural rhythm of the team making it too hard to bring in young players. This also involves players playing with injuries. That might work in a 1 day game, but you can't bowl long spells or bat for a long time with a crook back. Shane Warne showed what a break from the game can achieve. I'd like to see Ponting take a big break. He might bat on for many years after that.

I fancy Cameron White for Australian captain, why else would Warwick Armstrong be reincarnated? However there are a few things against it, including the fact that he is probably not good enough to make the team. I think Shane Watson could be good, though he is another one who is not as calm as he seems.