Our Aussie newspapers are full of stories which cover the crisis (induced by
the selectors) in the Australian Captaincy.
The main thrust appears to be that Taylor will confront the selectors and
suggest that he resign and allow Steve Waugh to fill both positions since
Taylor is only being considered for the Test team now.
Sadly the wear and tear of well over a decade of Test and ODI cricket is
beginning to show on S. Waugh's body and performances. In most sports, the
first sign that a player is coming to the end of his career is a spate of
niggling injuries. Frequently performances are still not too bad. These
injuries are usually passed off by the player as temporary and nothing to
worry about. Does this sound familiar?
Steve Waugh may still have another few years in the Australian team, but
not if we saddle him with the responsibilities of caring for an ageing body,
salvaging the Aussie batting innings time after time, bowling a few overs,
trying to be one of the better fielders in the team, chronicle the tours and
lead the side as well. Three or four years ago--sure. Ask him to do this
now and we are courting mild failure.
Warne has demonstrated the ability to undertake the captaincy with the dash
and the innovative imagination of a Taylor or a Benaud. Moreover, he has
the player loyalty (both ways) that was Ian Chappell's great strength.
On the few times when he has captained Australia he appeared to bowl himself
very cautiously and demand more from the other bowlers. Therein may lay his
greatest gift: the ability to preserve his skills and not overbowl himself,
contrary to accepted wisdom on bowlers objectivity on their ability to
Most observers believe that Warne is potentially a far better batsman than
his lowly position in the order or his average indicates. Some, when handed
the captaincy find it interferes with their focus on personal skills. In
Warne's case, I believe that he is the type of player who will bat with a
far greater sense of responsibility and we will see him finish his career
with performances akin to Reiffel's. His bowling should be more carefully
conserved. Warne appears to have the ability to call on other bowling
resources and eke out greater efforts of focus, pace and variety out of
sheer loyalty. As for his fielding, was it ever much more than adequate.
It will always be just there or thereabouts. He will never be a Taylor,
Waugh or Ponting in the field.