Aussies stand to benefit from re-induction of Waughs

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2002, 14:26 [IST]
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Bangalore: The subject of conversation for most cricket fans, of late, and in particular the Australians is, do the Aussies need the Waughs back in the One-day squad? With Australia not qualifying for the Champions Trophy final and more recently with Steve roaring back to form, the cause for the return of the Waughs has gained more weight.

There are varying degrees of opinions starting with the argument that they should not have been dropped in the first place to the justification that it was time they made way for young blood.

I, for one, believe Australia will be richer with the re-induction of the Waughs. With the wealth of experience and the talent that they possess and given the fact that they are still fit and in no way a liability on the field, Australia stands to benefit.

More than anything Steve is a guiding force. His grit, determination, never- say-die attitude and immense self-belief are something to be treasured rather than to be trampled with. Every batsman goes through a lean phase and given Steve's Herculean contribution to the Australian cause, one must admit that he received a shocking deal.

An odd loss at home, where his team failed to qualify for the finals of the triangular series involving New Zealand and South Africa, saw him being shown the door. Must admit it was a bad loss, but give the man a break. he had been winning virtually everything in sight and had taken his side to the very helm. He was the man who had stood by Australia during its dark days and instead of being there for him during his days of need, Australia let him down.

Steve's recent knock under pressure in the Test series being played at Sharjah is yet another testimony of his character. It was a typical fighting knock from the blade of man who had his detractors' ready for the 'Choke'. Had not Steve come up with this knock (103* versus Pakistan) it could have well been curtains in spite of a 3-0 verdict.

Well, it is not a similar story for his twin Mark but nevertheless there is no denying that Mark too is a class act. How easily people forget the past and all the heroics. I am sure that Mark too like his brother will come up trumps. But for that to happen the Australian selectors should show some insight and be ready to pay back a little to a man who has contributed in abundance to the Australian rise.

With the World Cup in the offing I suppose the selectors have a real hard look at things - Australia's loss to Pakistan at home and its failure in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy - and see the inherent good that is still left in the Waughs.

The way Australia capitulated to Sri Lanka one cannot help but feel that if Steve was around he would have some how resurrected the innings, like he had done on umpteen occasions in the past and in pressure matches.

Steve still has cricket left in him and the way he plundered 20 runs in one over to reach his 100 hundred against Pakistan at Sharjah goes further to prove that he is cut out for the One-day mould too.

My vote is for the Waughs to be back in business, especially Steve who apart form being a fighter of a batsman is a quality captain.

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