Another brilliant volume from the life of Ricky Ponting.,
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This review is from: Ricky Ponting's Captains Diary 2008: A Season of Tests, Turmoil and Twenty20 (Diary)
"He's done it again!", begins this 2008 volume of Ricky Ponting's diary. And from that first sentence, we are in to the drama and the excitement of what it really likes to be the captain of the Australian cricket team while they were dominating all three formats of this sport. What makes this series a compelling read is the contribution from Ponting's co-author, Geoff Armstrong. Although the book has the tone of a diary, Armstrong has given its content the feel and vigour of an engaging novel.
The book, unlike its predecessors, covers a period that Armstrong describes as "one of the most tumultuous 12 months ever experienced by the Australian cricket team." What is the cause of all these crises? The simple answer is Harbhajan Singh. If you want to read that chapter of the sporting relations between India and Australia, this is an important book. This issue had even prompted Ponting and Armstrong to include an element that is unusual for a sportsman's diary. Thirty pages in to this book, we get a chapter entitled "Cricket Australia's Perspective: We Must Consider the Big Picture", from James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia. This is a neat and necessary strategy from Ponting to let his paymasters to have their say.
Once the Harbhajan Singh controversy is out of the way, we are back on the journey of this great Australian side. Within the diary form, Ponting includes mini-articles such as 'The Will To Win'. This gives us an insight into how the young players such as Michael Clarke quickly absorbed the Australian mindset of winning. Ponting says "we love being out there, in the heat of battle, playing the game we love. Training is a buzz, too. So is the realisation that we are constantly learning as we go... This happy, positive mindset is a feature of the Australian team, and it's a trait carried by the successful state teams across the country."
There are many other mini-essays such as these that cover Adam Gilchrist's statistics as a match-winner; Ponting's views on the inaugural Indian Premier League; and 'The Magnificent 29' about the two groups of players in the record-breaking 16-Test winning run achieved under Steve Waugh and Ponting.
There are also wonderful photos that bring this diary to life. At the end, there are nearly 30 pages of 'Scores And Averages' which will be a treat for those cricket nerds!
Just like other books in this series, 'Ricky Ponting's Captain's Diary 2008' is a wonderful read for anyone who wants to take a trip in to the mind of a great captain of a national sport team.