Melbourne: Former Australian skipper Ian Chappell feels the national team`s captaincy has been devalued by the appointment of rookie George Bailey as Twenty20 skipper.
"Twenty20 might be the shortest form of the game and viewed as rock`n`roll cricket, but that`s no reason to start devaluing the Australian captaincy," Chappell said of Bailey who was appointed captain on debut.
"The sight of George Bailey receiving his Australian cap only moments before tossing the coin with MS Dhoni at the Olympic stadium might have been amusing to some, but not to me.”
"Not since Handsome Dave Gregory flicked the florin as Australia`s captain in the first Test of 1887 has a debutant led the country. That`s because in 135 years Australian cricket has generally maintained a policy of picking the best 11 players and then nominating a leader," he added.
Chappell said Bailey would have struggled to make the playing XI had he not been the captain.
"...he is nearly 30 years of age and wasn`t able to force his way into an Australian side until he was appointed captain. Bailey isn`t in Australia`s best T20 team and with the World Cup being held in September, now is not the time to blood a captain who shouldn`t make that squad," he said.
Chappell said Bailey will have to earn the respect of his teammates as soon as possible to cement his position.
"Bailey replaced Cameron White as captain of the T20 side when the Victorian skipper was demoted because he couldn`t hold his place as a batsman.”
"In a T20 side, the captain can hide in the middle-order and rarely be required to play an important role. However, sooner or later he has to win the respect of his team-mates as a person, a leader and, most importantly, as a player. If he doesn`t achieve the latter aim, his authority within the team is diminished," Chappell said.
Chappell said Bailey as captain would also work to the opposition`s advantage if he doesn`t earn his place in the team as a player.
"There`s also the accepted wisdom that a team`s performance can be compromised when the opposition undermines the captain`s playing credentials. Although this is harder to do in T20 cricket, especially with Bailey batting in the middle-order, eventually the failure to perform acceptably as a player will erode his confidence to lead authoritatively," he explained.
"If Australian cricket has stopped producing players who can establish their playing credentials before earning the captaincy, then the system is in need of a overhaul. To stay ahead of their rivals, Australia must keep producing captains chosen from the starting 11," he said.