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Thursday, August 27, 2009

What Australia Needs to Bring Back its Dominance over Cricket World?

Australian captain Ricky Ponting is now under fire after Australia lost the recent Ashes 2009 series to England. There are many who are calling for sacking of Ponting as team captain and giving the responsibility to someone else. Well, Ponting has now said that he has no problem in sharing the leadership with his current deputy Michael Clarke. In fact, he is ready to keep himself reserved only for test captaincy, handing over the leadership to Clarke for the limited over matches.

The same thing happened when Ponting was appointed captain of Australia’s one-day side in 2002, while Steve Waugh who was still leading the Aussies in the longer version of the game. Ponting got the test captaincy only when Waugh retired from international cricket in 2004.

To be honest, I think, Ricky Ponting has made a smart move by declaring that he is ready to hand over the ODI and Twenty20 captaincy to Michael Clarke. It shows that Ponting does not have any special attraction for the captaincy role. However, those who are thinking about his replacement do not understand the fact that Australian team is much less stronger than it was even two years back. It is a team which is going through a formation period and it is not a task of a day or two to make the side as dominating as it was 4 or 5 years back.

So, I think, replacing a captain like Ponting, who has achieved almost everything with Australia both as a player as well as a captain, would not bring any overnight-change in Australia’s performance. What Australia needs to do is to make a long term plan under which the board will be working to make another word-dominating side within next 4 or 5 years. You might ask me that what would then happen in the next 4 or 5 years?

Well, you have to accept the fact that for long term sustainable success, you have to sacrifice some short term successes in the near future. The most important thing is that Australia needs the replacement of the likes McGrath, Warne, Martin, Bevan and many other former stars who left the international circuit over the last few years. You know it very well that finding replacements of the players of this stature is not something very easy.

So, Australian cricket needs two things: one is a long term plan under which some world class players will be developed at every age level and the second thing is the acceptability of sacrificing some short term successes in order for bigger, sustainable, long term success.

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