India’s recent tour Down Under was widely considered to be a preparation for the World Cup. India got the better of the Australian side in the ODIs as well as the Tests. The T20 series ended in a draw. The result sent alarm bells ringing in Australia – a team which dominated world cricket for years and is no stranger to lifting the World Cup. Instead of sitting back and licking their wounds, the team management appointed Ricky Ponting as the new assistant coach for their side. Ponting has a stellar record as captain of the Australian side. But can a great player be a good coach?
Ponting’s leadership guided the Australian side to two World Cup victories (2003 and 2007). His record as a batsman is incredible, amassing 13,704 runs in 375 ODIs and 13,378 runs in 168 Tests. There’s no doubt about Ponting being a legendary player. As a coach, Ponting’s role will revolve on guidance – something Sanjay Bangar, India’s assistant coach did very well. Bangar’s international career was not as spectacular as Ponting’s yet he’s lauded by many for his role in the dressing room. He was also the coach of India-A and Kochi Tuskers. Virender Sehwag once complimented him as being ‘as calm as Gary (Kirsten).’ Bangar was appointed as the batting coach for India in 2014 and was the head coach for a tour of Zimbabwe in 2016.
India is now one of the top teams and among the favourites to win the World Cup. As for Ponting, he experienced a brief stint as the interim coach of his country during a T20 series against Sri Lanka in 2017. His other coaching roles includes looking after Mumbai Indians between 2014 and 2016. More recently, he’s been elected as coach of Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals).
For Ponting to make a mark, he really has a long way to go. And with the World Cup just around the corner, a World Cup-winning captain could do a wealth of goodness to the Aussie side.