Spare Ponting, urges Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh said captaining the national team is no kid's play and people should stop bashing Ricky Ponting for the series defeat against India.

updated: November 13, 2008 10:59 IST
  • Total Shares


Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh on Thursday said captaining the national team is no kid's play and people should stop bashing Ricky Ponting for the series defeat against India.

"Until you become captain of the Australian cricket team you don't really understand the demands," Waugh wrote in 'The Daily Telegraph'.

"Sometimes issues linger and people won't move on, but if you are leader people expect you to do so. Ricky Ponting will do that next week. Let's allow him to get on with it and not dwell on what might have been," Waugh went on to suggest.

The former captain didn't gloss over the fact that Ponting erred in Nagpur by focussing more on reviving a sluggish over-rate to escape a possible ban, than going for a series-equalling win.

"What has shocked many was that we went against our instincts and let the match meander by being concerned about over rates until the chance had vapourised.

"If Ricky's tactics worked he would have been labelled a genius by killing two birds with one stone but in hindsight they probably killed Australia's chance to square the series, which would have been a tremendous achievement," Waugh said.

He, however, asserted that captain's is a complicated job and cited his experience to buttress his point.

"At various times for me it meant being a psychologist, adviser, mate, mentor, mediator, selector, advocate, mouthpiece and politician.

"...when I was captain there were about fifty press conferences per year, endless meetings with Board officials, match referees and various administrators, selection hook-ups, speeches at team functions and working with the coach and senior players on game plans and tactics," he recalled.

Waugh said if Ponting, as captain of the side, could not win the series and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy, it was not entirely his own fault.

"In Ricky Ponting I saw a leader who had been under mounting pressure, a result of injured and out-of-form players, an inconsistent selection policy, an Indian team that no longer were intimidated or afraid to speak their mind in the media or on the field, pitches that made results difficult, slow over rates and bad luck calling the toss,' Waugh explained.

"In reality they were clinging on and rarely occupying the high ground, scrambling to stay in the match," he said. Irrespective of the outcome, Waugh said, Ponting only needed to ensure that he tried his best.

"As a captain I know fully well you can't get every call right or please everyone. But in the end you only need to look into the mirror and be able to sleep easy at night knowing you captained to the best of your ability and gave it your all," he elaborated.