What is aggressive captaincy?

If taking a slip, a short leg fielder, a fielder at silly point and a leg slip or maybe, trying different bowling options, asking someone who hardly bowls in a do or die situation is what you call aggressiveness, then sorry, you need to know more.

Aggressiveness is not the field set up, a good tactician would set better fields then an aggressive captain. A better tactician would do better bowling changes. A better tactician would ask his batsman to go and play according to the pitch and situation, not to go out and slog blindly to score 100 in 10 overs and then get bundled out for 120.

Aggressive strategy does not mean just screaming and shouting on the field and packing 5 slips and short leg and silly point which is what most people in Pakistan think aggression is. It is a strategy based on match situation and a keen reading of the game which is why Misbah is such an excellent captain because his reading of the game (other than the Australia series) is excellent.

A good example is the 3rd and 4th test in England 2016 when on Day 1 Pakistani seamer’s were getting the ball to move and picking up wickets. He had 3 + slips almost all throughout the day and never let up the pressure.

Another example would be the World Cup 2015 game against South Africa when defending only 230, Pakistani fast bowlers were bowling like Pakistani bowlers of the past, hitting the seam, fast, getting movement and the field was packed with slips and catching positions. Almost a test match like field in an ODI.

Then in the Quarter Final against Australia, when Wahab was bowling fast, he put a short leg for Clarke knowing he has a problem with short deliveries aimed at the ribs and he got out to short leg.

These are strategies combined with pitch/match conditions and how his bowlers are responding.

When his bowlers are bowling short and wide and bowling boundary balls and getting no movement or help from the pitch, then he is forced to take out slips and stop the runs because then the strategy is damage control.

Aggressive captaincy is to take bold decisions, aggressiveness is to fight till the last ball of the match, aggressiveness is to believe and trust on the decisions you make, aggressiveness is to lead from the front.

Most Pakistanis just react without understanding these aspects of the game. Misbah comes across as a very calm person who doesn’t react so they think he is defensive.

If aggressiveness is all about setting up the field, then anyone can be the most aggressive captain by taking all 11 fielders inside the circle.

What is aggressive captaincy?
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