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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > News > Report

Debate rages over Pollock's captaincy

Ashish Magotra in Durban | March 08, 2003 19:22 IST

The captaincy debate in South Africa rages on after the team's dismal performance in the group stage.

One thing is certain, heads will roll and the prime target seems to be captain Shaun Pollock.

For long, Pollock has been regarded as not a very good captain. The shadow of Hansie Cronje's reign was always one he wanted to out-run.

Pollock normally dismissed all talk of that but the controversy re-emerged during the on-going World Cup when Herschelle Gibbs raised questions on Pollock's captaincy.

The controversy died down then but now it has reared it's with renewed vigour.

Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie have been touted as potential replacements for the beleaguered skipper.

But South African batting legend Barry Richards says, "The two have to become automatic selections in the side before they can be considered for captaincy."

"I have a soft corner for Shaun and like him but have always felt that captaincy was thrust upon Pollock when he was not quite ready. He always seemed a reluctant captain, not quite cut-out for the job but one thing is certain that whoever gets the job has to deal with a lot of pressure," he added.

The South African media, who have seen McKenzie captain the Northern Titans and the South African 'A' team, reckon he is good. He is a good player of fast bowling, but his technique against spinners is a worry. As captain he would have to be sure of his place in the squad.

Smith, on the other hand, is a young attacking player and most in South Africa reckon he should get his chance now, before the fire dies down.

Former South African captain Kepler Wessels feels all talk of a replacement is premature.

"It is too early for Smith to take over. He is a good aggressive young batsman but he needs to cement his place in the side. While McKenzie is not even in the team," he added.

"If the selectors are sensible then they should give Pollock another 12 months on the job and back him up with good coaching staff," said Kepler.

Convenor of selectors, Omar Henry backs Pollock completely.

"Cronje lost two World Cups but was regarded as one of South Africa's best captains. Pollock has only lost one and people are writing him off already. People are allowed to have opinions but they are not necessarily mine," he added.

Henry also feels leadership is as much of a game as batting, bowling and fielding.

"Planning is an integral part of South Africa and when the Cronje scandal broke, we had nowhere to go. We offered the captaincy to Pollock and he took it up."

So do he select a captain first and then the team or vice-versa?

"It's a Catch-22 situation. But if that team can carry a good captain then why not?"

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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Mckenzie or smith as possible skipper-ridiculous

pollock has done a good job thru out.its unfair on him if he loses his captaincy.After their perfomance was poor in just 1 tournament.

Posted by Ravi

Sub: Klusener is Superb

Meera is saying correct. Klusener is superb all rounder. He is a trementious all rounder. But pollock didn't give much chances to bat and ball ...

Posted by Muhammed Sajid

Sub: Change is must

Lance Klusener should definitely bat fourth or fifth position. He is such an excellent player to handle pressure and he if the gift to international ...

Posted by Meena


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