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Ponting backs Buchanan’s multiple captaincy theory


Melbourne : Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has backed Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan’s multiple-captain strategy that has entangled his Indian Premier League (IPL) team captain Sourav Ganguly in a fresh controversy.

Ponting said there is “some merit” in Buchanan’s proposal to have multiple captains within the team in the Twenty20 league starting in South Africa April 18.

Buchanan has indicated the captaincy burden will be shared by more than one person on the field. He named Ganguly, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum and Brad Hodge to try out his experiment.

The move has found Ganguly in choppy waters. The team owned by Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan decided to leave the controversial issue till they reach their South African base in Bloemfontein.

“I heard the other day he was actually talking about having a couple of captains on the ground at once. I don’t know how that’s going to work,” Ponting was quoted as saying in the Australian media.

“But I know Tasmania actually experimented with that a few years ago. They had Dan Marsh and George Bailey. One was doing the field placings and one was doing the bowling changes.

“So it just sort of lightened the load up, I guess, on the actual captain on the field and gave him a bit more opportunity to think about different things.

“I think there is some merit in it. We’ll see how it works at the end of this IPL,” said Ponting.

Buchanan, one of cricket’s most lateral-thinking and controversial coaches, stepped down as Australia’s mentor after helping guide Ponting’s team to a successful one-day international World Cup defence in the West Indies in 2007.

Ganguly, who was Kolkata’s IPL captain in 2008, has spoken out against the idea.

Ponting, however, said he can understand Ganguly’s opposition to the theory.

“The more experience you can get into a lot of guys as far as leadership goes can only benefit your group.

“But it seems like it’s a bit more of a sensitive situation at the moment with Sourav (Ganguly) being captain and maybe not wanting to give up that actual role, which you can understand as well.

Ponting would be available to play for KKR in the last two weeks of the tournament as he has opted to spend time at home with his family. Australia’s busy year continues in June with the Twenty20 World Cup followed by the Ashes series in July, both in England.