Ricky Ponting and Michael Vaughan share their captaincy woes

Ricky Ponting and Michael Vaughan share their captaincy woes

Ricky Ponting captains
Ricky Ponting of Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Ricky Ponting, legendary Australian captain and arguably the best of captains, had a dream team playing under his captaincy and in plain sight, it would appear a piece of cake to captain such a legendary team. But it can be a real pain at times, with all excellent players coming together as with excellence comes their big egos.

Ponting captained such a team for years and has had his fair share of experiences. Speaking along with former England captain Vaughan on the eve of the first Test of Commonwealth Bank series between Australia and South Africa, both the captains were fielded with questions on their times as captain.

When Ponting was quizzed as to who he found the toughest to captain, he took a cheeky dig at legendary pacer, Glenn McGrath, saying, “I’m going to make a bit of a joke of it – Glenn McGrath was the hardest player for me to captain.”

He said that it appeared that McGrath would be the easiest to deal with, delivering the goods whenever his captain needed it. But Ponting revealed another perception of the story saying, “Everyone will sit back and think that he’s the easiest, that you give him the ball, he comes on and he’d do a job for you. And yes, that’s right, but at some stage you had to try and get the ball off him as well.

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“I’d tell him ‘that’s enough mate, have a rest’ and for the next 10 or 15 minutes he’d be walking around with his sleeve over his mouth calling me every name under the sun.

“He’d stand down at fine leg and he’d be abusing all the crowd just because he wasn’t bowling.”

But jokes apart, the pacer handed his captain many memorable victories, as he played 25 Tests of his 124 Test career capturing 115 wickets under Ponting and 96 ODIs off the 375 in which he bagged 147 wickets . In the decade where they played together, they enjoyed five Ashes series win and three World Cup wins.

When Vaughan was asked the same, he said that even the simplest players needed separate attention at times and would get tough to manage, as every player had some lows when they needed the support and backing of their captain.

He said, “Even the real nice ones; Andrew Strauss is the poshest lad in the world, but even at times Strauss might be tricky because he’d have low moments. Ashley Giles would have low moments.

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“And they’re the times that you really get tested as a captain – when you try to calm a player who is under pressure, when the press are saying he shouldn’t (be in the team).

“There’s always one or two players that are under pressure and they’re the times when you have to spend a little more time with those people.” Vaughan concluded saying.