Former Australia stars lambast Ponting’s captaincy

November 11th, 2008 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Nov 11 (IANS) A day after Australia lost the Test series in India, skipper Ricky Ponting received flak from the media as well as former cricketers who branded him an “ordinary captain”.Former Test players described Ponting’s use of part-time bowlers to speed up Australia’s poor over rate in the must-win match in Nagpur as “ridiculous”.

One-time Australian spearhead Jeff Thomson pulled no punches when he claimed Ponting had lost the plot.

“I always thought he was an ordinary captain and this proves it,” Thomson was quoted as saying in the Courier Mail.

“His captaincy calculator is not that brilliant, is it? Don’t get me wrong — he’s a great batsman but an ordinary captain.”

Former Test skipper Ian Chappell labelled the fourth days’ play as “the most bizarre day of Test cricket I have ever seen” and questioned how Australia could have been so tardy in its over rate.

“It was a situation from where Australia could well have won the Test had they continued to push the Indians. But by putting himself in that position all the momentum was gone.”

Ponting appeared less concerned with winning a Test than he was about the prospect of being suspended for next week’s first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba as he bowled part-timers Mike Hussey and Cameron White on day four to step up the over rate when Indian batting was shaky.

“It was a ridiculous decision. Ponting should have just gone for the throat and worried about the consequences later,” former Test player Rodney Hogg said.

“Surely team management must have had a say in this as well. What a stupid decision it was. And on the over rate, I would prefer to watch 60 overs of quality rather than 90 overs of crap.”

Former Test captain Steve Waugh, strongly advocated a change of rules to make the entire team, rather than just the captain culpable. He made the point at a meeting of the MCC Rules Committee.

“I felt it was unfair for the captain to wear all the blame,” Waugh said.

“But there are far too many stoppages, drinks breaks. But it is not just the captain’s fault. It is up to coaches, referees and umpires to keep the show moving.

“I am sure Ricky would regret the decision. Winning the Test match is what mattered. You have just spent six weeks in the subcontinent. You just don’t take your foot off the gas.”

Mark Waugh was another who was incredulous at Ponting’s tactics.

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