The Indian and Australian method of choosing the captain better than England: Ian Chappell

The Indian and Australian method of choosing the captain better than England: Ian Chappell

Ian Chappell
NEW DELHI, INDIA – DECEMBER 5: (Editor’s Note: This is an exclusive shoot of Hindustan Times) Former Australian Cricket Captain Ian Chappell during a session on ‘Can BCCI Be Professionalised?’ at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on December 5, 2015 in New Delhi, India. (Photo by Gurinder Osan/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has come up with an interesting analysis where he states various reason behind the success of skippers who are batsmen. He takes up the example of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith- two of the most successful young batsman — captains in the international arena and tries to find out which is the most important, the batting or the captaincy.

“There’s one major reason why most captains are batsmen rather than bowlers; it’s easier for the willow wielders to separate their primary skill from the leadership role.”

“A batting captain has little else to concentrate on other than scoring runs. It’s only when a declaration is in the offing — and then only if he’s at the crease — that he has to concern himself with other matters. When the batsman/captain is in the field, he can concentrate solely on bowling changes and field placements.”

A few of the captains have been exceptions. The likes of Richie Benaud and Imran Khan have been some good bowlers have enjoyed great leadership success.

“Imran believed that to be a good captain you must understand bowling and it’s hard to refute his logic. In the case of both Kohli and Smith they are at least part-time bowlers, which helps them understand and have sympathy for what the trundler is trying to achieve.”

The Aussie great also elaborated the basic responsibilities of a captain and the factor which make the likes of Virat Kohli and Stev Smith highly successful than their counterparts.

“It’s not the skipper’s job to tell the bowler what he should be doing and where to place his field; that’s not a sign of a strong captain, rather one lacking understanding.”

“Field placement, especially as it relates to a spinner, is something that needs to be sorted out prior to going onto the field. It’s counter-productive for captain and bowler to be having serious debates over where the field should be while the match is in progress.”

“For a captain who understands bowling — and especially in relation to spinners — the original placing of the field and any resultant changes should come fairly naturally.”

Chappell also pointed out the basic characteristic that Kohli and Smith have in them – the ability to buoy under pressure rather than getting bogged down by it. He also appreciated the Australian and Indian selection policy with regard to appointing suitable leaders.

“Both Kohli and Smith have been more successful as batsman once they assumed the role of captain. This indicates the selectors have chosen wisely, as it’s crucial to anoint a player who will be buoyed, rather than weighed down by the extra responsibility.

“This makes the Indian and Australian method of choosing the captain far better than the one England employed in the days of both amateur and professional players. Then, England often chose the captain [usually an amateur] first, followed by the rest of the team.”

“Nowadays, it’s commonplace to appoint the captain from the chosen eleven. Both Kohli and Smith have successfully managed a priority of being a batting captain; never forget that making a mountain of runs is a sure way to lead by example.”