It's happened to Ricky Ponting twice now, in 2005, and again yesterday. Assuming the position once more, he said, 'I've had an opportunity to sit back over the last couple of days and think about those decisions that I've made, or that I made there and then, and even talking to other players, I'm very comfortable with the decisions that I've made'.
Shane Warne helpfully translated via his newspaper column: 'One of Rick's strengths is to admit his mistakes and I'm sure on the way home he relived every moment of the final Test and the mistakes that he made'.
Cheers, Warnie. Thanks for that. Ponting also received some 'help' from fearless team coach Tim Nielsen, who used the high-profile forum of his blog to address the subject of the over rate: 'is it alright to break the rules as long as you win without worrying about the consequences?'
Er, hasn't stopped them any other time, Tim. You sure you're Australian? Check your passport, fella.
Meanwhile, England have been enjoying the advantages of having KP as captain. His technique is far simpler and more effective than Ponting's. He just pretends it hasn't happened. 'Oh, what, that match? That knockabout you're referring to? I'd forgotten about that. We're just focused on our controllables...'
As Ed Smith rightly pointed out in The Wisden Cricketer, technology means that today's player can no longer return to the pavilion claiming to have been sawn off when he wasn't. The truth is all they have back in the dressing room. The main arena for creative excuses now comes in front of the media. Excellent!