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When the team just isnt the same any more

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When the team just isnt the same any more Empty When the team just isnt the same any more

Post by kingraf Wed 22 May 2013, 9:29 pm

Yesterday, I went for drinks with my old high school coach, and we got to talking about the good old days. The team was a great team, the best medium school team in the country, and top fifteen in the country. We were awesome from top to bottom. The following year, under a different coach, with me as captain, we were awful. There was a lot of high school team politics, and the spine of the team finished school leaving a bunch of juniors to try rebuild the team.

Speaking to him, he kind of broke down what went wrong. Somehing that stuck with me was him saying that I was probably the wrong choice for captain. Because I was part of the old guard, and one of the star players in that team, I struggled to fully grasp that I had an inferior team, and set up tactics and plans that they simply couldnt pull off.

That discussion got me thinking, which international cricketers were involved in a great team, and then got saddled with the captaincy of a team in transition?
Lara has to be one. Michael Clarke as well. How many more?
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Post by Mike Selig Thu 23 May 2013, 10:17 am

Interesting article borne from experience. It's similar IMO to the star player (or ex-player) being made captain (or coach) and not succeeding because he fails to comprehend that others aren't as good as him - there are numerous examples in all sports, but my favourite anecdote is when Michel Plattini was manager of a youngish french football team, and when training free-kicks said "it's not difficult, you just do this (cue demo of perfect free-kick). In cricket of course the likes of Tendulkar, Lara, Pietersen to some extent have all struggled with captaining sides where the majority of players were less good than they were.

With regards to a team in transition, there is a lot to be said for giving the captaincy to one of the old-guard, if he understands that he has to adapt and almost start from scratch. Personally I think Ponting is actually a good example of this - although heavily criticised for defensive tactics, these were borne from his understanding that he had to play a different kind of cricket to his predecessors. The fact that the Australians didn't spiral out of control like the West Indies (or the previous Australian side of the 80s) IMO is testament to both Ponting and Clarke's skills of managing a side of players of lesser ability, as opposed to Lara.

To answer the querry, I guess whoever oversaw the transition of the Aussie 1980s side (Kim Hughes? But not sure he was involved in the team beforehand) would be a good one. It is perhaps premature to call this England team a great one, but whoever has to deal with the retirements of Prior, Pietersen, Swann and Anderson maybe 4 or 5 years down the line will have some patching to do.

There won't be many examples, simply because you are mostly restricting yourself to the modern era - the Aussie side of the 50s, or post-Benaud years was probably in transition, but given they mainly played England and were mostly good enough to beat most of the other sides, nobody really noticed.

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Post by kingraf Thu 23 May 2013, 3:37 pm

True. It was just very interesting insight. I also played Club cricket for a team that had eight players with Provincial experience. I really just had no idea of how to cope with a limited team.

True statement about Ricky Ponting. It must have been incredibly tough to go from Shane Warme to Bryce McGain. Or from Matty Hayden to Shane Watson. You could see with McGain he simply couldnt grasp the fact that the guy couldnt contain.
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