Cricket: A batsman’s game
Cricket is a batsman’s game. Generally speaking, fans are much more allured and attracted to the charisma of a batsman rather than a bowler. Furthermore, this preference of batsmen over bowlers as personalities and consequently captain is not limited to just cricket fans.
Cricket selectors in the past have chosen to make batsmen captain ahead of both all-rounders and bowlers in the main. There are several reason for this choice, few of them are as follows:
Greater career potential:
Batsmen tend to have a longer career as compared to all-rounders or more precisely fast bowlers. There are few exceptions to this rule: For example, Imran Khan had a lengthy career, although he was a quick bowler himself. Wasim Akram played a large sample size of games as well. Nevertheless, as a general rule, batsmen tend to have a longer career which makes them a better choice overall.
Bowlers, especially fast, are more prone to injuries as compared to batsmen. Hence, regularly replacing the captain with the vice-captain of the team is likely to affect the overall performance of the side. Hence, batsmen are considered to be more stable prospects for a team. Furthermore, every now and then bowlers need rest. Whereas, a batsman does not need a break as frequently as a bowler.
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While fielding, a captain who is a batsman, only has one job to complete i.e to set the field for the bowlers. Whereas, a bowling captain has to perform the exhaustive duty of bowling, along with planning and setting a field for the bowlers. Additionally, in the heat of the moment, a bowling captain may over utilise themselves in a few cases. For example, Andrew Flintoff as a captain started bowling 30 overs a day as compared to 10 overs when he was playing solely as an all-rounder.
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List of test captains in the last 20 years
Below is the list of players who played in last 20 years in Test as a captain and featured in more than 25 matches:
|Graeme Smith (ICC/SA)||2003-2009||71|
|Ricky Ponting (AUS)||2004-2009||65|
|SP Fleming (NZ)||2000-2006||56|
|MP Vaughan (ENG)||2003-2008||51|
|SC Ganguly (INDIA)||2000-2005||49|
|SR Waugh (AUS)||2000-2004||44|
|N Hussain (ENG)||2000-2003||39|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||2000-2002||32|
|BC Lara (WI)||2003-2006||29|
|DPMD Jayawardene (SL)||2006-2009||28|
|SM Pollock (SA)||2000-2003||26|
|R Dravid (INDIA)||2003-2007||25|
In the list above, Shaun Pollock is the only player who features as a bowling all-rounder. The rest are all batsmen. Even if one looks at more historic stats, the result is not much different.
Cricket is a game of skills and tactics. The strategies are made by captains and coaches. Undoubtedly, there have been great bowler captains in history such as Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram, Heath Streak, Vettori, Imran Khan, Walsh, Kumble etc. However, if we look at the overall numbers then batsmen exceed bowlers as a captaincy choice by a large margin.
We hope you enjoyed our article on why batsmen are predominantly the captain of a cricket team.
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