Again the Aussies are in search of a Vice Captain. And there are those
that suggest that it is time to change the captain too (a thread in
RSC on Ponting being the most mediocre captain in recent times comes
There are those that point out with equal fervor that Ponting is the
best batsman that the Aussies have produced in recent years and the
best player should lead. They observe not without the merit of reason
that, after all Viv Richards inherited the team from Clive Lloyd. It
could be argued that Holding was a better Cricketing brain and that
there were others in the team of less incendiary temperament. But Viv
got it because he was the best player in the side. Yet others argue
that Shane Warne was Australia's greatest match winner along with
McGrath and neither got the captaincy. In fact Waugh beat Warne to it
and made sure that Warne would not get the VC slot.
So who should lead Australia and who should be his deputy? To my mind
the test should be two-fold:
1. Which two combine best? Without ego hassles, without wanting to
outdo the other who would play Miles Davis & John Coltrane to each
other and lead the Aussies?
2. Have they ever combined to pull Australia out of the doldrums? When
the Aussies were looking down the barrel, did they (perhaps a batsman
and a bowler) pull them out of trouble lead them to a win? Think of
Botham and Willis beating Australia after the Poms were made to follow
on. Do they have a Botham and Willis in the side?
To these two tests, I would another: are the two loved and respected
by all Aussies? By the team, spectators and the Australian Cricketing
establishment? Replacing Gilly will be really hard. After all, Warne a
superman on his day, did not get to be captain or VC because he was
not loved by the team.
After watching this series closely, I believe that Aussies have two
such marvelous contenders. Initially, I would have had Symonds as
Ponting's deputy. Ponting is a fine batsman and Symonds is explosive
on his day and is much loved by his team. But I think Aussies have an
even finer pair.
And the winners are?
Steve Bucknor for captain and Mark Benson as his deputy.
It is a small matter that neither is technically Australian. Just
technically mind you. I am sure that nationality will not be a hurdle.
After all, the Australian government is not an ungrateful one. These
two men can be given their citizenship for years of distinguished
service to Australia.