Cricket Update: Blunder at Leeds another black spot on Ricky Ponting’s captaincy

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Cricket Update: Blunder at Leeds another black spot on Ricky Ponting’s captaincy

Some strongly agree, others vehemently disagree but the truth is out in the open. The Australian skipper Ricky Ponting is not at par with his preceding captains. He is the only captain to have lost The Ashes twice in 100 years, while his disappointing decision to bat first at Headingley, Leeds gave a chance to make a strong comeback in the two-match Test series. 

His decision to bat first after winning the toss is as bizarre as many of his other decisions in the past, yet his team’s good showing continues to hide his blunders. However, the current team doesn’t have Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and, the players on whom he used to bank on for the correction of his errors. His decision to play first in overcast conditions on Wednesday, gave his side their lowest total in the first innings of a test, after winning the toss and electing to bat in the last 50 years.

During the period of 2005-2007, he lost matches that any other captain would have won easily. His first taste of defeat due to his own ‘blunder-full’ decisions came in 2005, when the Aussies were defeated at Cardiff, by the minnows of the game, Bangladesh.
In what was the 2250th one day international match, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. Ponting must have thought that his batsmen will belt the Bangladeshi bowlers around, yet they couldn't score as freely as they wanted. Besides Damien Martyn and Michael reached the target in the last over, with 4 balls and 5 wickets to spare.

The next year, he showed to the world that he is not at all that great a captain when he lost the match even after scoring 434 runs on the board. Ponting's inability to rotate the bowlers effectively had more to do with the loss than South Africa's batting, which couldn't have won the match had someone else been the captain. Although Ponting himself scored 164 in the run riot, and was aided by fifties by Adam Gilchrist, Simon Katich and Michael Hussey, he erred when it was his time to shine. He gave just 6 overs to Stuart Clarke who went for 54, while persisted with Mick Lewis who gave a career breaking performance. He went for 113 runs in his 10 overs which helped Herschelle won the match by 1 wicket and took the five-match series 3-2.

Lastly, there is the defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe, a match that sealed Ricky Ponting’s fate as a skipper in twenty20 internationals. Opting to bat first in this encounter of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, Fletcher's all-round effort sealed the famous win in the 1983 World Cup.

It’s high time the selectors changed the skipper and let Michael Clarke lead the side. After all, Ponting also got the captaincy when his predecessor Steve Waugh was doing a great job! 



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