From 1990 to now, who was the best Aussie captain?

Clayton Waters Roar Rookie

By , Clayton Waters is a Roar Rookie

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    Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith… the list runs long with great Australian captains.

    I believe a strong leader and captain is one to get down in the trenches and dig deep and when his team looks at him he says “follow me”.

    Each skipper brings different vibes and strong holds while at the top. I’ll start with Steven Waugh.

    16 Tests wins in a row, World Cup win in 1999 were among his big achievements from 1998-2004. He looked to break teams down and mentally be stronger than any other opponent.

    Whether that was the big seamers from West Indies or the clever and cunning Indian spinners, Waugh had a 72 per cent winning average in Tests and only lost nine games in his time in charge.

    Ricky Ponting, 48 wins from 77 in Tests, three Ashes losses, 5-0 Ashes drubbing, two World Cup wins, two Champions Cups were his big achievements from 2004 until 2011. Aggressive early, he then was questioned for being a defensive captain in his later years.

    As a leader in performance you couldn’t ask for much more. Batting three and taking on the game early, he scored a ton of runs setting up huge totals for Australia. If only I could play a hook shot as good as Punter.

    An demon in the field often creating chances and snapping them up himself. Punter was blessed with a super human squad. Names like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Matt Hayden and Adam Gilchrist – but still there needs to be someone guiding the ship. Not afraid to call people out, he is right up there.

    Australia captain Michael Clarke leaves the crease after losing his wicket

    (AFP PHOTO/Lindsey Parnaby)

    Micheal Clarke has a 51 per cent winning record in Tests with a 5-0 win in the Ashes, World Cup win and 244 ODIs with 74 as Skipper. Touted for his aggressive approach from ball one, he was also an extremely good tactical captain always proactive rather than reactive.

    Ian Chappell was once quoted saying “Clarke was a bold captain, never afraid to dangle a carrot in search of victory”. One thing that hindered Michael was his polarising nature in the sheds.

    I believe his win at all costs mentality caused some issues which to this day are still reported. No doubt he was a good captain and his performances with the bat proved this. Who can forget the 300 against India? Pure class.

    Steven Smith is yet to prove himself in the big games but he will no doubt have his time. Currently at a 50 per cent winning rate in all formats he has had to deal with weaker sides then the previous captains but still is growing as a leader.

    I believe the Ashes coming up will be a huge turning point in his leadership. He is aggressive and reads the game well. Can he steer and direct the players to success against a strong English side.

    I really can’t pick. I always loved Ponting by the way he took the game on and led with his performances. I loved Waugh’s deep love for the baggy green. I love Clarke’s aggressive nature to the game. Can Steven Smith join these guys as good captains? Time will tell.