Over the years there has been a big debate in cricket and that is the role of captain in the team.  Many have argued that it a captain who is instrumental in the team winning matches.  Experts have attributed it to the tactical brilliance of captain on the field in taking the right decisions on the field at the right time and inspiring the team to play as a combined unit.  There are  many others who have given credit saying that captains generally lead from the front and that is the reason why teams win.  While many followers of the game and experts have credited captains for moulding their teams to winning units there are as many who have said that a captain is only as good as the team, and if you have a good team they beat the rest and captaincy hardly matters and vice versa.

Followers of the game and experts can now feel relaxed because the long debate has finally been resolved by Ricky Ponting. After inheriting captaincy from Steve Waugh Ricky Ponting took the team to greater heights and was well on his way to becoming the greatest ever captain in the world and that is where tragedy struck.  The retirements of the famed duo of Shane Warne and Mc Grath meant that he did not have the men to work out teams twice in a match and the best result he can hope for is a draw and in case the batters fail they are bound to lose and that is what exactly is happening.  In brief, Ponting was winning matches when he had match winners of the likes of Gilchrist, Warne, Mc Grath and Hayden and when they quit his team has started losing matches even to second string teams.  Now the verdict is very clear that when five to six players of the same age group peak at the same time automatically teams start winning and that was happening with Australia and once they quit together they begin to lose matches till they find another set of great players.

England can boast of having a modest team but inspite of that they were in a advantageous position because their opponents were more in a pathetic situation and that is what exactly happened in the Adelaide test in which England trounced Australia by an innings and 71 runs. England achieved a couple of firsts during the course of their win as their win was their 100th against Australia and the first time in 24 years they have defeated Australia by an innings.  During the course of their innings win England heaped further humiliation on Aussies as it is the first time since 1993 that an Aussie team lost by an innings at home, the last occasion being an innings defeat to West Indies at Perth.

What would worry Australia more is the fact how England team dictated terms in the series after conceding a huge 221 runs in the first innings at Brisbane.  England after being shot out for 260 in the first innings of the first test conceded a 221 run lead and had literally gifted a huge physiological advantage to the Aussies and were danger of losing the test and series midway through the test match but they way they bounced back is nothing short of a what could be described as historic.  Under pressure to save the test, England piled up a mammoth 517 for 1 in their second innings and had the luxury of declaring the innings thanks to a unbroken 329 run partnership between Cook and Trott.  In the first innings of the second test at Adelaide England piled up 620 for 5 declared, which meant they had a sequence of 1137 runs for 6 wickets against the bowling attack and that should worry Ricky Ponting more than the result. What would hurt Ricky Ponting more is the fact that Englishmen were more concerned about rain than their rivals and that speaks about the way the match was dominated by England team.

As of now England have the upper hand in the series having dominated the series for last 7 of the 10 days cricket played.  Australia need to win 2 of the remaining 3 tests to win the Ashes, while England need to win only 1 of them to retain the Ashes.  Anything is possible in cricket and Australia may still regain the Ashes by winning the series 2-1 or 3-1 but nothing short a 3-1 win would undo the damage inflicted on them by England.  Even a 2-1 series win for Aussies would be still a moral victory for England.

 


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Is MSD a worthy Test Captian?

MSD is a good cool captain. However his performance with his bat is not pleasing. There are lots of wicket keeper batsman with good average than MSD. Dinesk Karthik, Parthiv Patel and Saha have a decent first class average than MSD.
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