Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Competency testing England's captains

There has been a lot of discussion about the England captaincy, with the usual focus on the form of the captain fuelling the fire. Michael Vaughan’s one-day form has been unimpressive, with an average of only 20-odd, his place in the batting line-up has been a free wicket for opponents. Does this mean we should sack him? Well, no, I don’t think so.

The Ayalac minions have busily worked out criteria that could provide a competency test of the England role.

Scores will be given, out of ten in the following fields:

  • Performance in tests.
  • Performances in ODIs. All three disciplines are taken into account.
  • Tactical awareness. Comprising innovation and nouse.
  • Authority/leadership skills.
  • Media management: how they deal with the press (out of five).
  • Insight: what they say to the press (out of five).
Player Tests ODIsTactical Authority MM Insight Total/50
Vaughan 8 4 8 8 4 4 36
Collingwood 6 7 5 6 4 3 31
Strauss 7 5 7 7 3 4 33
Bell 76 4 4 1 1 23
Flintoff 8 8 5 7 2 2 32
Pieterson 9 9 4 7 4 1 34
Bopara 0 6 4 3 0 0 13

These are some names that have been suggested for the job – I’ve also thrown in Kevin Pieterson because I have, in mad moments, pondered such a possibility. Judging by these numbers, he might be one to watch, too.

Strangely, and despite the heavy performance weighting, Vaughan comes out on top. This happens to the outcome that out-going coach, Duncan Fletcher, also favours. And in the terms of achieving stability and continuity in a notoriously unsettled role, this might not be a bad thing.

I would also suggest that England, if they are to change a captain, to do so in both versions of the game. England tried the two captains route a while ago: Michael Atherton took charge of the test team and Adam Holioke led the one-day side. It was a disaster. No one knew what was going on, and created further instability in the squad.

So, with this in mind, and the results of my scientific survey, it’s probably best to stick with Vaughan for another year or so. He’s a pretty good bowler, too. Keep him as an all-rounder. Stick in at number seven. No problem!


omar said...

interesting. but you're under the assumption that 1 captain is needed for both formats. how about we separate the test and odi tables and see who gets the most points? vaughan can be a good test captain, but in the fas paced nature of the ODI format, one is required to be a productive batsman. since time is limited, captaincy is less strenuous and the game flows pretty much on its own. thus someone will less technical know-how can be a more fitting leader.

The Atheist said...

That's because I don’t think splitting the role is a good idea. You can't have two leaders, with two approaches.

It divides authority and responsibility. It's "a leader" we're looking for, not "the leaders".

Best going for just the one.

omar said...

Hmm - I agree with you generally speaking, but I think England can be that one exception...

Anyway, to each his own, and we can both agree to disagree on this one, but Vaughan's captaincy isn't exactly so Godly in ODI's, that he needs to sink the whole boat...They're be much better off with someone who has an average of 40 or so.