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Friday, January 25, 2008

Role of a cricket captain
The captain of a cricket team is a player who, during the course of a match, has several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of a regular player. As in other sports, the captain is usually an experienced cricketer with good communication skills, who is likely to be one of the most regular members of the team; indeed the captain often has a say in team selection. Before the game the captains toss for innings. During the match each captain decides the team's batting order, who will bowl each over, and where each fielder will stand. While the captain has the final say, decisions are often collaborative. A captain's knowledge of the complexities of cricket strategy and tactics, and shrewdness in the field, may contribute significantly to the team's success.

Captain's responsibilities

During a match
Before the start of a match the home captain tosses a coin and the away captain calls heads or tails. The captain who wins the toss is given the choice of whether to bat or bowl first. The decision usually depends on the condition of the pitch and whether it is likely to deteriorate, the weather conditions, the weather forecast

The toss
The captain sets where the fielders will stand, in consultation with the bowler and sometimes other senior players. The fielding positions will usually be dictated by the type of bowler, the batsman's batting style, and the captain's assessment of the state of the match (and hence whether to set an attacking or a defensive field).

Fielding positions
From July 7, 2005 the captain decides when to take Powerplay 2 and 3 in ODI matches. If the batting team's run rate is high after Powerplay 1 then the captain might choose to take the other two power plays later on the innings to slow the run rate down. He may take them when the attacking batsmen are out, or when the run rate has been reduced.

The captain decides when each bowler will bowl. If a batsman is seeking to dominate the current bowler, the captain may ask someone else to bowl; alternatively, keeping the bowler on may be deemed the best chance of getting the batsman out. If the regular bowlers are not achieving the desired results, the captain may decide to use non-regular bowlers to attempt to unsettle the batsmen. The captain may also change the bowlers around to introduce variation, and to prevent the batsmen getting "set".
In limited overs cricket the captain additionally has to make certain that bowlers bowl no more than their allotted maximum number of overs, and that experienced bowlers are available at the end of the batting side's innings, when the batsmen are usually looking to take risks to attack and score quickly.
In the longer forms of cricket, when a new ball becomes available the captain decides whether to use it.

When the team bats, the captain decides the batting order. In professional cricket the captain usually changes the established batting order only for exceptional reasons, because batsmen tend to specialize in batting at certain positions. However, in certain circumstances it may be in the team's interest to change the batting order. If quick runs are needed, a naturally attacking batsman may be promoted up the order. A player who is 'in form' may be promoted to a higher batting position, at the expense of a player who is 'out of form'.
If a wicket falls near the end of a day's play, especially if the light is failing, or if the bowlers seem particularly confident, the captain may choose to send in a non-specialist batsman, referred to as a nightwatchman. If the night wathchman does not get out before the end of play then the specialist batsman will have been protected, and will not need to bat until the following day when conditions are likely to have improved. If the nightwatchman does get out, the cost of losing a late wicket will have been minimized, because the specialist batsman is still available to bat.

Batting order
The captain may declare the team's innings closed at any time, but usually only does so as an attacking ploy, for instance if the captain thinks the team has enough runs to win the match, or if a sudden change in conditions has made it advantageous to bowl rather than bat.

In a two-innings match, if the situation arises the captain decides whether to impose the follow on.

As well as decisions taken either immediately before or during a match, captains also often have some responsibility for the good running of the cricket club. For instance, he or she may decide when the team is to practice, and for how long. In professional cricket the captain often has some say in who will form the squad from which teams are selected, and may also decide how young up-and-coming players are to be encouraged and improved, and how members of the squad who are not regularly selected for first-team matches are to gain match practice to be kept match-fit.

Role of a cricket captain Other duties
The captain may be assisted by a vice-captain. This is particularly useful when the captain is forced to leave the field of play during fielding, due to injury or illness (etc). Some teams also allocate the vice-captain a more or less formal role in assisting with team selection, discipline, field-setting etc.


Current Captains

Ricky Ponting Australia

Mohammad Ashraful Bangladesh

Michael Vaughan (Test)
Paul Collingwood (ODI) & (Twenty20) Captain England

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (ODI) & (Twenty20) Captain
Rahul Dravid (Resigned as Test Captain; incumbent yet to be chosen) India

Trent Johnston Ireland

Steve Tikolo Kenya

Shoaib Malik Pakistan

Daniel Vettori (Recently took over from Stephen Fleming as Captain of New Zealand in all formats of the game after a decade at the helm for the latter) New Zealand

Graeme Smith South Africa

Mahela Jayawardene West Indies

Prosper Utseya

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