Ricky Ponting has to lift his leadership and he has to start with letting go over the substitutes drama. I recommend that he watch “A Bug’s Life” (Disney, 1998). Any four year old who has watched “A Bugs Life” animation knows the first rule of leadership: It’s always your fault. Here’s a hint Ricky: Listen very carefully to Hopper.
It’s quite simple: If you take a short single and the fielder hits the stumps, you are going to be out. Blame your partner for the bad call if you must. Blame yourself – you said “yes”. Look no further. Australia has suffered at least three costly run outs in this series but I tell you, if the English had hit the stumps every time, that number would be at least 15. That’s no exaggeration – the Australian running has been a good barometer of the state of mind of the team.
Ricky needs to look for the answers within the team. They can’t control how good the reverse swing is, the umpires decisions or England taking advantage of the substitutes rule but they can stop themselves being run out. They can start taking their catches and they can stop bowling criminal numbers of no balls.
And they can stop persisting for too long with out of form players.