I am an interested watcher of cricket rather than a committed ex player or knowledgeable tragic. I understand why Mitchell, Hilfenhouse, North and co are either dropped or about to be. But I don’t understand why there is never any mention of Clarke’s failures, which seem to have been obvious for at least a year or so.
He also strikes me as a guy who has never grown up. I watched him coming out onto the field in the Gabba Test, when all looked lost and Australia needed to pull out an extraordinary effort. Clarke was laughing and joking with another player and it made me wonder if his mind was on the huge effort required or something else.
The second culprit is Ponting, who was an average captain with a great team under him to a poor captain with an average team under him. Most great captains – I am thinking of Border when I say this – will stand up if the rest of the team sits down. Ponting seems unable to lift this team by his own efforts.
I do not understand why commentators do not discuss this situation and seem to always have an excuse for Clarke and Ponting’s failures with the bat and as captain.
I fully accept that Ponting is one of the all-time great batsmen, but as captain he strikes me as reactive and conservative, or just plain unreadable. My bigoted view of watching him makes me suspect he is not that smart.
I wonder if this Ashes series will bring home just how poorly we have handled the transition from a world beating team to rebuilding with a young team.
I think it is time that both the captain and the vice-captain came under some serious focus in terms of what they can add to build a new team.