Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Watson vs Clarke - The Effect of a Good Captain

My take on captaincy has always been that the right bloke can add 35% to the result. I concluded from what I saw in Hyderabad that Michael Clarke is too unimaginative and unadventurous to be a successful captain in hostile and alien conditions. He belongs to the let's-wait- and watch-and hope-the guys do something. For one, it is an uncharacteristic style of leading an Aussie side which is naturally full of aggression, and that is what gets them about 30% of its winning edge. Clarke is probably one who prefers to bat and contribute his best for his team and not someone who enjoys the burden of captaincy which asks much more from the player.

Having said that I liked what Watson brought to the side as a captain in the fourth test. Though Australia lost the test they showed glimpses of their famous fighting spirit as they took India on. Watson piled on the pressure both tactically and psychologically, getting into verbal tiffs with the Indian players and pushing them every bit. As a result of all this he created enough tension in the game to give Australia a good chance of winning by the time India batted.

Much of the captain's desire to win, his keenness to take responsibility, to get his team to perform their roles, to do the best for the team, shows up in the final result. Watson threw all he had at the Indians and that's how that team got closer. As captain one cannot expect the team to figure out a way to deliver on their own - you have to make it happen - one way or another.

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