Hats off to Aussie captain Steve Waugh

Written by: D Ram Raj
Published: Friday, July 6, 2001, 18:27 [IST]
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Bangalore: Quiet, unassuming and certain of what he does. This in effect paints the true picture of Australian captain Steve Waugh. The senior of the Waugh twins - Mark being the other - quietly joined the ranks of the 9,000-run club in Test cricket.

He thus became the third player to achieve this feat behind compatriot Allan Border and India's little master Sunil Gavaskar. Though typically Australian, Steve Waugh has taken cricket in his country to dizzy heights in both forms of the game.

Bringing about a rare professionalism, Waugh and his men have consistently proved to be the masters of the game. An odd loss to South Africa (In the One-dayers immediately after the Hansie Cronje scandal) or to India (in India) not withstanding, the Australians have stood tall.

They have brought about innovations into the game even as the world was looking at the then Bob Woolmer coached South Africans to bring about changes into the game. While Woolmer brought the laptop into the cricket dressing rooms, the Australians subtly raised the game to a very different level.

Steve Waugh has played a prominent role in the professional changes that the Australians have brought into the game. Leading from the front, he has never allowed captaincy to effect his batting performance. In fact, on quite a few occasions he has batted with purpose to pull his team out of the woods.

He has shown astute leadership qualities and his players have rallied wonderfully around him. Even a spat with coach John Buchanan at Chennai on Warne did not deter his cool. The fact that the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) subsequently decided to keep Buchanan out of team selection on tours shows the amount of respect that Waugh commands from country's cricket administrators.

By joining the elite 9,000-run club, Steve Waugh has added yet another feather to his already over flowing cap. Hats off to a true modern day cricketer who epitomises cricket in its truest 21st century form.

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