Ricky Ponting has been overburdened as Australian captain and let down by people in leadership roles, said former coach John Buchanan.
Buchanan, who coached Australia to World Cup triumphs in 2003 and 2007, said the country’s cricket leaders had put too much responsibility on to Ponting’s shoulders and his fighting innings of 104 was not enough to prevent his side from bowing out of the World Cup to hosts India in Ahmedabad, to end their 12-year reign as world champions.
“Ponting still has an incredible amount to offer Australian cricket, but at the same stage he has to be in the right frame of mind to do that,” said Buchanan. “I think for the last 18 months or so that hasn’t been the case because he has tried to take on too much responsibility for the whole team.
“I’m disappointed at other people around him, basically people in senior formal leadership roles, who have allowed him to do that. And I think that has contributed to making life very difficult for him in the role.”
Buchanan declined to identify those he felt had let Ponting down.
“I will leave it to people to interpret a little bit but I will just say people in other formal leadership roles in and around the team.”
Buchanan said that Ponting’s job was to lead by example, rather than building a side, forming its culture, or selection matters. “That is what we saw in the match against India,” he said, referring to Ponting’s century in the quarter-final. “He was able to have his energies directed to one game so all the thinking about how you are going to develop a side and build a culture and selections here and selections there, were irrelevant.”
Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2011.