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Steve Waugh

Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins Is Definitely The Frontrunner To Lead The Side In Brisbane For The First Test: Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh has expressed his opinion on how his nation Australia should move forward in terms of leadership following Tim Paine’s resignation as Test captain. The wicket-keeper batsman stepped down as skipper after he was found to be texting explicit content to a female co-worker four years ago.

With the incident resurfacing and an investigation being probed by Cricket Australia, Tim Paine chose to vacate the role of Test team captain ahead of the Ashes 2021/22.

Steve Waugh---- AFP
Steve Waugh—- AFP

Steve Waugh: Pat Cummins Is Definitely The Front Runner To Lead Australia In The 1s Test

Steve Waugh feels that Pat Cummins is the most logical choice when it comes to taking over the captaincy reigns, as he is already the vice-captain of the team.

Steve Waugh said: “Pat Cummins is definitely the front runner to lead the side in Brisbane for the first Test, he’s the vice-captain and there is a lot of talk of him taking over Tim Paine sooner or later even without this incident. So, I think he is the logical choice. For the vice-captain, I don’t know, someone like a Steve Smith might be a good vice-captain, he’s experienced.”

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

Steve Smith has already declared his interest in leading the national side again following the end of his ban. He became eligible to lead the side after two years had passed since the ball-tampering incident in South Africa.

The incident later went on to be labelled as the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ and is considered as one of the darkest moments in the history of Australian cricket. Australia went on to lose the match, and Cricket Australia took some bold calls as they first removed the captain and vice-captain of the side.

Later, the Australian cricket board handed a one-year ban to both Steve Smith and David Warner, while Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Australia coach Darren Lehmann also resigned after the episode.

Australia has not played a test since losing to India at the Gabba in January, which saw the hosts fall to a 2-1 series defeat as the tour to South Africa and the one-off Test against Afghanistan didn’t happen.

Steve Waugh: Selectors Would Be Seriously Thinking Whether To Pick Tim Paine Or Alex Carey For Ashes 2021/22

Steve Waugh also added that the selectors would be turning towards Alex Carey to replace Tim Paine in the team to don the gloves.

Steve Waugh added: “I’d say Pat Cummins will take over and the selectors would be seriously thinking about which wicket-keeper to pick for the first Test. I like Paine as a cricketer, I was a selector when I picked him. Now they will be looking into someone like an Alex Carey for the role of the wicket-keeper.”

Tim Paine has made himself available for selection in the Ashes despite having resigned as captain of the team. Apart from Alex Carey, Josh Inglis has also been touted to eventually take over from Tim Paine in the near future.

Steve Waugh admits that it is going to be very tough for Tim Paine to overcome these obstacles set in place. Age is not on the side of the wicket-keeper. Having just undergone major surgery to treat his neck injury, the odds were already stacked against him prior to this incident.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

Steve Waugh added: “I don’t like commenting on things I don’t know. Look, I mean Tim Paine has done a great job while he has played and even as the captain of Australia. He’s led the team beautifully and the culture really seems good within the team.

“I think we’re all just sort of waiting for the next piece of information, but I think it’s going to be tough for him, he’s 36 years of age, coming back from an injury and he’s got this scandal hanging over his head now so there is a lot of things against Paine now.”

Tim Paine took over as captain of the team following the infamous Sandpaper gate in South Africa. It saw the team’s leadership stalwarts face a suspension for their involvement in ball-tampering.

Tim Paine’s captaincy and his wicket-keeping standards have come under severe criticism ever since India thrashed hosts Australia 2-1 in the 4 match Test series Down Under. Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under Tim Paine’s leadership, Australia has retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches, but has lost two successive home series to India.

Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
Sourav Ganguly (Source: File Photo)
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Brad Hogg Credits Sourav Ganguly For Transforming India Australia Cricket Rivalry

Brad Hogg spoke at length on former India captain and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, crediting him for the entire transformation of the India-Australia cricketing rivalry.

It wasn’t that India didn’t win anything before the famous Sourav Ganguly-era. Kapil Dev-led India won the 1983 World Cup, followed by the Benson Hedges World Championship of Cricket in 1985, under Sunil Gavaskar. Even under Mohammad Azharuddin, India came close to winning the 1996 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Brad Hogg: Sourav Ganguly Really Tested Australia And Before Him, India Was Intimated By Australia

However, Sourav Ganguly-era saw India embark upon a new journey, where they were much more competitive, expressive, and much more in-your-face with the opposition, who didn’t back out from a fight on the field. India not only started winning their home games regularly but also became competitive abroad; with some sparkling performances in England, Australia, and Pakistan.

Under Sourav Ganguly, India had a pool of youngsters, who mixed up really well with the talented senior cricketers and made India move past the shambolic match-fixing scandal of 2000. Thus, Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy era remains a talking point to date. Recently, former Aussie spinner Brad Hogg spoke highly of the former Indian captain and credited him for transforming the India-Australia rivalry.

“The one thing that Ganguly did was really test Australia. If you remember that Test match where he made Steve Waugh wait – I think he did not come with his blazer for the toss – he just knew what would rub Australia up the wrong way in that sense,” Hogg told former England, bowler, Steve Harmison on his YouTube Show ‘The Test of Time’.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images

He further opined, “I think during that particular time, when we went over there, before that, India were intimidated by us, and it wasn’t until Ganguly came in and started to stand up and fight back and give us the verbal, sort of upset us and get under our skin that things really turned around.”

Besides the 2001 Test series win, India registered a few more emphatic performances against Australia, such as eliminating them from the 2000 Champions Trophy and drawing the 2003/04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under. Sourav Ganguly would not let any opportunity slip to get under Australia’s skin – the famous incident of him making Steve Waugh wait at the toss is a testament to it.

Brad Hogg: Sourav Ganguly Turned India-Australia Matches Around

Brad Hogg, who had the wood over Sourav Ganguly in India’s 2007 tour of Australia where he dismissed the former batsman four times in the Test series, pointed out how Sourav Ganguly’s arrival as captain added more excitement and competitiveness to India-Australia matches.

“The contests between India and Australia started to be like England and Australia. There was a lot of noise, passion, and Ganguly was the one who turned it around and created that atmosphere and created that strength and different brand of cricket that India are playing now,” the former spinner explained.

Virat Kohli, Image Source : AP IMAGE
Virat Kohli, Image Source: AP IMAGE

Many experts and former cricketers also compare Sourav Ganguly and current Indian captain Virat Kohli as leaders, who are both expressive and in-the-opposition’s-face at all times.

Virat Kohli will be eager to break India’s 8-year-long ICC drought in the next edition of the T20 World Cup, to be held in the UAE from mid-October.  Despite some major success, Sourav Ganguly-led India couldn’t win an ODI or T20I World Cup. Hence, Virat Kohli will wish to not repeat the same with his current Indian team.

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James Anderson Wasn’t Sure If He Was Good Enough To Play Int’l Cricket

James Anderson is set to be remembered as one of the best fast bowlers of this generation, but the England pacer has revealed he wasn’t sure if he was good enough to play international cricket when he started off in May 2003 against Zimbabwe at the Lord’s.

The 38-year-old James Anderson, already England’s most successful Test bowler with 616 wickets — the most by any pacer in the format — has had the far more physically demanding task of leading the attack.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Thought He Wasn’t Good Enough To Play

James Anderson drew level with retired former captain Alastair Cook’s mark of 161 Tests after playing the 1st Test against the Kiwis.

“I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought it was a huge step up from county cricket. I remember Nasser [Hussain] didn’t have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs. My first ball was a no-ball as well so there were a lot of nerves there and I did feel like this was maybe a step too far for me at that point,” he said as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“I think I cleaned up the tail in that game. Until you play against the best players in the world and you’ve got them out, only then do you feel like you can compete and belong there.”

The senior campaigner feels the hurdles that have come in his long career have only made him stronger.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve overcome little hurdles throughout my career and they’ve made me stronger,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

“The stress fracture was like hitting the re-set button I guess. I’d gone through a lot of changes in my action before that and that stress fracture was probably a Godsend. It made me go back to my old action and since then I’ve felt really comfortable and got more consistent. That’s really helped me and makes me feel proud I got stronger from that and never looked back.”

James Anderson has played 161 Tests and is the 7th most-capped Test player only behind Sachin Tendulkar (200), Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (168), Jacques Kallis (166), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rahul Dravid (164).

James Anderson And Stuart Broad Looks Back On The 2007-08 Tour

The pacer believes the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington during the 2007-08 tour was one game that deserves a special mention. That is where his partnership with Stuart Broad began.

“We both look back on that Test with great fondness,” he said. “I think it was a proper starting point in our Test careers. The fact that Peter Moores, the coach at that time, showed that confidence in us because he left out two senior bowlers who’d been extremely influential in the England side up until that point.

“He brought us in and gave us that responsibility, showed that faith in us. We still look back on that with great fondness and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully there will be a few more memories to come.”

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broa. Photo Credit: AFP.

James Anderson admits that his growth from a good bowler to someone who could win games did take some time and it helped after he put in strong performances against the top teams.

“It took a few years. I think it was about putting in some performances against the better sides in the world. No disrespect to Zimbabwe, but playing against teams like South Africa and Australia and India, once you put in performances against the top teams in the world, that’s when you can feel like you can actually perform at that level. So it did take a few years and a few tours around the world to make me think I could actually do it,” he pointed.

Stuart Broad was named England’s vice-captain for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s which ended in a draw. Pacer Stuart Broad picked up his first wicket in Test cricket after going 81 overs without it. Stuart Broad picked up the wicket of Tom Latham on Day 5 of the first Test at Lord’s. He picked up his first wicket of the match and first since January 2020 when he got the wicket of Angelo Mathews in Sri Lanka.

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James Anderson Delighted At Prospect Of Equaling England Record For Most Test Appearances

James Anderson has said the prospect of equalling the England record for Test appearances held by Alastair Cook is “mind-blowing”. Considering James Anderson is selected for next week’s series opener against New Zealand at Lord’s, he will draw level with retired former captain Alastair Cook’s mark of 161 Tests.

But while his close friend Alastair Cook spent his international career as an opening Test batsman, the 38-year-old James Anderson, already England’s most successful Test bowler with 614 wickets — the most by any pacer in the format — has had the far more physically demanding task of leading the attack.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Feels Proud To Achieve Aim Of Representing England In 161 Tests Drawing Level With Alastair Cook

And should James Anderson achieve his aim of playing in all seven Tests against New Zealand and India this season, he will be behind just a trio of batsmen — India’s Sachin Tendulkar (200 Tests) and the Australia duo of Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (both 168) — in the all-time list.

“It does make me feel proud,” Anderson told reporters. “I never imagined in a million years I’d get to this point. Certainly for a bowler to play this amount of games is… I don’t know what the word is… but it’s a bit mind-blowing to me because I don’t feel like I’ve played that many games.”

James Anderson, who appeared with his England teammates in the LV= Insurance launch video “In With Heart” celebrating England’s cricket community, added: “My body doesn’t feel old or tired.”

“I absolutely love Test cricket, I’ve got a huge passion for it. Growing up, that’s all I wanted to do is play Test cricket for England and I’m honoured I’ve been able to do it for this long.”

Former England captain Alastair Cook with pace bowling spearhead James Anderson.
Former England captain Alastair Cook with pace bowling spearhead James Anderson. (Photo Source: Sky Sports)

Equalling Alastair Cook’s match tally at Lord’s would be particularly significant for James Anderson as the ‘home of cricket’ was the venue for his Test debut, against Zimbabwe, 18 years ago.

“Turning up to Lord’s, since I first did it in 2003…the atmosphere around that ground is something you don’t experience anywhere else in the world,” he said.

James Anderson, England fast bowler, and the leading wicket-taker among fast bowlers in the history of the game has said that he has no intention of calling it a day, reiterating his desire to play in the 2022 Ashes in Australia. The fast bowler is set to equal Alastair Cook’s England appearances record with 24th Lord’s Test.

It comes almost exactly 18 years after his first. His record at the ground – 103 wickets at an average of 23.89 with six five-fors – would please most players as full career statistics.

James Anderson Misses Presence Of Fans In Recent Test Series Due To Covid-19

James Anderson is also just eight shy of taking 1,000 first-class wickets, with Andrew Caddick last England quick to achieve the feat in 2005.

“In this day and age I don’t know if it’s possible to get that many first-class wickets anymore, the amount of cricket that’s played, there doesn’t seem to be that longevity in bowlers anymore, and there’s loads of T20 cricket and whatever else is going on around the world,” Anderson said.

But the Lancashire swing bowler said there was more behind his ongoing career than statistical landmarks.

“Putting the hard yards in, that’s when it means the most, putting a shift in for the team,” he said. “I get a lot of pleasure out of it. Bowling 10 overs on a green seamer doesn’t really do it for me. I want to put a shift in for the team when it’s tough.”

James Anderson of England acknowledges the changing rooms after taking his 600th Test wicket
James Anderson of England acknowledges the changing rooms after taking his 600th Test wicket (Getty)

James Anderson, however, is looking forward to having spectators present when he next rewrites cricket’s record books. Covid-19 restrictions meant he took his 600th Test wicket behind closed doors at Southampton last year.

But some 7,000 fans are expected at Lord’s next week, with up to 18,000 allowed in for the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after that match was nominated as a pilot event by the British government.

“It’s going to be pretty special having people there. I’m not sure if soulless is the right word, but it’s just not international cricket without fans there,” Anderson said.

“As players, we get the impression everyone has missed it a fair amount. We’ve missed having fans there and they’ve missed watching us live.”

He is also eight short of a thousand first-class wickets. In the grand sweep of history, that may not seem especially remarkable. He remains more than 3,000 wickets short of Wilfred Rhodes’ first-class tally, after all.

In a career as a left-arm spinner that stretched over three decades, Wilfred Rhodes’ played 17 seasons in which he featured in 35 first-class games or more. James Anderson has never played more than 16 in a season and only played more than 11 on three occasions. He’s never had the chance to bowl on an uncovered wicket, either

Ricky Ponting, right, is set to be replaced as Australia captain by Michael Clarke. Photograph: Aijaz Rahi/AP
Ricky Ponting, right, is set to be replaced as Australia captain by Michael Clarke. Photograph: Aijaz Rahi/AP
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Michael Clarke Opens Up On How He Saved Predecessor Ricky Ponting From Getting Dropped

Michael Clarke, former Australia captain has revealed that he saved his predecessor two-time World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting from getting dropped from the national side after taking over the reins of the national team.

It’s not common for Australian captains to continue playing after stepping down as they usually retire while still in charge. Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, and even Michael Clarke himself, are some of the examples.

Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)

Michael Clarke Fought To Keep Ricky Ponting In Team When He Took Captaincy

However, it wasn’t the case with Ricky Ponting, one of the most successful captains in Test history. Ricky Ponting stepped down from the Australian captaincy after the 2011 World Cup, and expectably Michael Clarke took over. Ricky Ponting remained committed to the team’s cause and received backing from his long-time vice-captain, who believed in his experience and ability.

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. (Getty )
Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke. (Getty )

Speaking to former NRL star Brett Finch on his Uncensored podcast, Michael Clarke revealed that Australian selectors were keen to move on and drop Ricky Ponting to provide the new leader with a fresh environment.

“When I took over the captaincy, that’s why I fought to keep Ricky,” said Michael Clarke.

“The selectors said, ‘Very rarely does a captain stand down and stay in the team, so if you don’t feel comfortable … it’s time for Ricky to go’.

“I said, ‘We need him. We need him for his batting, but he’ll be another coach for us’. So I fought hard to keep him, I wanted him there. I thought he played a big part in helping that younger generation get to the level we needed to. If he was batting at 80 per cent, he was better than anybody else at No. 3 or No. 4. We think the grass is greener all the time. Very rarely is it.”

Although Ricky Ponting has admitted that his form tailed off in the last phase of his career, he still had the backing of his captain and ended up playing 16 Tests under Michael Clarke between 2011 and late 2012, scoring 1,015 runs at an average of 37.59.

This phase brought his career batting average down from the mid-50s to 51.85. Ricky Ponting was the captain of the Australian cricket team when they won the 2003 and 2007 World Cup.

Ricky Ponting played 375 ODIs for Australia and scored 13704 runs at an average of 42.04. He also has 30 centuries and 82 fifties. Even in the Test format, Ricky Ponting has 13378 runs in 168 matches with 41 hundred. Ricky Ponting is considered one of the most successful captains in international cricket history, with 220 victories in 324 matches with a winning ratio of 67.91%.

Michael Clarke Never Dreamt Of Captaining Australia

In 2013, Ricky Ponting revealed in his autobiography that he didn’t feel as supported by Michael Clarke, the vice-captain. The latter admitted to the same in his autobiography too. In an interview with Brett Finch, Michael Clarke admitted that he found it hard to be Ricky Ponting’s understudy because of the inevitable wait.

“I dreamt of playing for Australia, but I never dreamt of captaining Australia. I found it really difficult when I was vice-captain that there was an expectation that I was always going to be the next captain. I hated that. I would rather have stayed a youngster or be captain. I wasn’t very good at the in-between,” added the 40-year-old.

Michael Clarke. (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Michael Clarke. (Photo Source: Getty Images)(Photo by Pramod Thakur/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Michael Clarke debuted for Australia in 2003 and was immediately tipped to be a future Australian captain. He was promoted to the role of vice-captain after Adam Gilchrist’s retirement in 2008. Michael Clarke led Australia between 2011 and 2015. During his tenure, he became the fourth Australian captain after Allan Border, Steve Waugh, and Ricky Ponting (twice) to win the ODI World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh. (Image Credit" Twitter)
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If Harbhajan Singh Hadn’t Played In 2001 Test Series, Australia Could Have Won: Steve Waugh

Former Australian cricketer Steve Waugh has heaped praise on Harbhajan Singh, stating that he had the same spirit and aggression as Aussies. He even didn’t mince a word to say that if the spinner hadn’t played in the historic Australia tour of India in 2001, his side would have easily won the series.

Harbhajan Singh hasn’t yet retired from international cricket but he last played for India in 2016. He has featured in 103 Tests, 236 ODIs and 28 T20Is. The off-spinner is in the elite club of bowlers who have 400 Test wickets in their name. Besides this, he has 269 ODI wickets, which include two four-wicket hauls and three five-wicket hauls.

If Harbhajan Singh Hadn't Played In 2001 Test Series, Australia Could Have Won: Steve Waugh 1
Harbhajan Singh. Image Credit: BCCI.

Speaking to Cricket Australia, Steve Waugh admitted that playing against Harbhajan was like facing the Aussies themselves, which caused problems for them. As per him, he tried to get on the nerves of Aussies with his aggressive talks and behaviour.

“He played in the same vein, the same spirit and the same method as we did. That’s probably why we found him a bit prickly because it was like playing against ourselves in the opposition. He played cricket the Aussie way. He was in your face, a bit of talk, aggressive, positive and he backed himself,” he said.

Steve Waugh explained that what makes Harbhajan a successful spinner. He said that his bounce bamboozled them. Notably, The finger spinner usually reserved his best for Australia and has claimed 95 Test wickets against the team.

“He wasn’t a traditional off-spinner. He got a bit overspin and bounce. It wasn’t always the sharp turn, but the subtle variations and bounce. Got caught bat-pad pretty regularly off him,” said Steve Waugh. 

Without Harbhajan Singh, we would have won the series: Steve Waugh

Harbajan Singh, Andrew Symonds, monkeygate scandal
Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Steve Waugh has fully credited Harbhajan Singh in helping India win the 2001 Test series, which is one of the memorable encounters between the two. India broke Australia’s 16-match winning streak in the extended format. The off-spinner picked 32 wickets at an average of 17.03 as the Aussies struggled to read him. He also took a famous Test hat-trick, dismissing Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, and Shane Warne during the 2001 Kolkata Test to achieve the feat.

“He won the series for India in 2001. 32 wickets in 3 Tests. We just couldn’t counteract his bounce. He got this amazing bounce off the length. Every spell he bowled against, he dominated us. Incredible strike rate bowled a lot of overs and was consistent. Hayden probably took him on and did well, but the rest of us really couldn’t find a way to get on top of him. Without him, we would have won the series. A very influential figure, particularly against us,” Waugh concluded.

Meanwhile, India and Australia are playing another enthralling Tests series, which is levelled so far with 1-1. The final and fourth Test match of the series, which will be played in Brisbane, will decide the fate of the series.

A Legend Like Anil Kumble Deserves To Be Treated Better, Says Rahul Dravid
A Legend Like Anil Kumble Deserves To Be Treated Better, Says Rahul Dravid
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Anil Kumble Was Bit Like Rahul Dravid Of Their Bowling Line-up: Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh, former Australian skipper believes legendary leg-spinner Anil Kumble was like the ‘Rahul Dravid’ of India’s bowling attack. The 55-year-old Australian said so because India could always depend on leg spinner Anil Kumble to take wickets when the team needed them the most.

Anil Kumble is arguably the best leg-spinner India have ever produced, especially in Test cricket. He is the highest wicket-taker for India in the longest format of the game, with 619 scalps to his name.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh (Image Credit: Google)

Steve Waugh: Anil Kumble Was A Fierce Competitor And Was A Bit Like Batsman Rahul Dravid Of Bowling Lineup

Steve Waugh explained why Anil Kumble was a special bowler while speaking to cricket.com.au.

“He (Anil Kumble) was a fierce competitor. He was always at you and never gave you an inch. I can’t remember him bowling poorly against us. He was a bit like Dravid of their bowling lineup. The captain knew what they were going to get from him. He was there all the time,” Steve Waugh said.

Anil Kumble loved playing against Australia as he is the highest wicket-taker in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 111 wickets to his name in 20 Tests averaging 30.32. His best figures of 8-141 against Australia came in the 2004 Sydney Test, where he almost single-handedly won the game for the visitors.

Steve Waugh said Anil Kumble wore his heart on his sleeve and gave his all for Team India as playing for the country was everything for him. A right-arm leg spin (leg break googly) bowler, he took 619 wickets in Test cricket and remains the third-highest wicket-taker of all time (behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne).

Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan
Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan

In 1999 while playing against Pakistan, he dismissed all ten batsmen in a Test match innings, joining England’s Jim Laker as the only player to achieve the feat. He is also the only Indian player to have done that till date. Unlike his contemporaries, he was not a big turner of the ball but relied primarily on pace, bounce, and accuracy.

Anil Kumble announced his retirement from international cricket mid-way through the 3rd Test of the series in the Delhi Test alongside Sourav Ganguly who bid the game goodbye in the Nagpur 4th Test.

Steve Waugh Observed Anil Kumble Enjoyed Playing For India And Australia Played Him More Like A Slow In Swing Bowler

Steve Waugh said he never played against anyone as passionate to play for his country as Anil Kumble was. The 50-year-old former spinner always took pride in playing for India and gave his all, irrespective of the situation. The former Australian captain Steve Waugh also shed light on the way Anil Kumble depended more on his variations, as he didn’t spin the ball much.

“I don’t think I played anyone who enjoyed playing for the country as much as he (Anil Kumble) did. It was everything to him. We certainly didn’t play him as a leg-spinner. We played him more like a slow in-swing bowler,” Steve Waugh observed.

Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble. BCCI

The leg-spinner used to vary his pace and deceive the opposition batsmen in the air. Anil Kumble would exploit if there was any help from the pitch and make life difficult for the batsmen.

“He had a great change of pace. It was all about variations, use of the crease. He sort of mixed it up a bit. Anything in the wicket like a bit of rough or unevenness, and he was more than a handful,” Steve Waugh further added.

Anil Kumble even went on to captain the Indian team towards the fag end or twilight of his career and was the head coach of the Men in Blue for a brief period too. His leadership attributes proved crucial in Team India winning the historic Perth Test in the 2007-08 Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Will Pucovski, Futures League, Suspected Concussion, Australia, Victoria Bushrangers
Puckovski lead Victoria from the front. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Steve Waugh Is Against Banning Bouncers As Will Pucovski Suffers 9th Concussion

Steve Waugh, former Australian skipper and batsman has voiced his stand against the ban of bouncers from cricket. The former captain Steve Waugh has stressed that playing the bouncer requires skill and courage from batsmen, and has stood against taking such a big element away from cricket.

On the eve of the 4-match Test series between India and Australia, young Australian opener Will Pucovski missed out on a great chance to make his Test debut. Will Pucovski suffered a concussion in a practice game which ruled him out of contention of the playing XI in the Pink Ball Test match at the Adelaide Oval commencing December 17.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh (Image Credit: Google)

Steve Waugh: Banning Bouncers Would Take Skills Away From Game

For the 22-year-old Victoria batsman, it was a rare chance since veteran opener David Warner was already ruled out of 1st test due to a groin injury that he had picked up during the 2nd ODI against India. It ruled him out of the remaining ODI, subsequent T20Is and the first Test. Another incumbent opener Joe Burns was also in a dismal form but played 1st Test after Will Pucovski and David Warner were injured and ruled out of opening Test.

Will Pucovski’s multiple concussion woes in domestic and practice matches have led to the debate over bouncers, whether they should be banned from the sport, but Steve Waugh thinks otherwise as he feels batsmen have to find out a way to survive as it takes a lot of skill to bowl bouncers which is the excitement of Test cricket. Steve Waugh feels banning the bouncers will take requisite skill away from the game.

“.but, no, look it’s part of the game, as an opener and top-order batsmen you would want to test yourself against the best balls and tough situations. And quite often, a bowler at his peak bowls at your body and you’ve got to just work out a way to survive. It does take a lot of courage and a really good game plan and it takes skill. That’s why you wanna be tested,” Steve Waugh said on The Cricket Show on Sky Sports.

Will Pucovski.
Will Pucovski. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“There’s excitement, that’s what Test cricket is all about. It takes the skill away from the game, it takes away the courage element which is required from a top-order batsman, that’s part of the game so I’m definitely against the ban of the bouncers, it’s part of the game and it’s something you have got to learn to play better,” he added.

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh was against the idea of banning the bouncer from international cricket as it would reduce the skill of the game.

Will Pucovski Suffers Ninth Concussion As Justin Langer Is Concerned

Former Australian Test opener and their current head coach Justin Langer has conceded that he is a bit concerned about talented opening batsman Will Pucovski after the youngster suffered his ninth concussion in a recent warm-up game against India.

Will Pucovski had emerged as a front runner for opener’s spot and looked a solution in solving Australia’s opening woes courtesy his brilliant form in the 2020/21 Shield season where he smoked back-to-back double-hundreds.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer-Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, he suffered an unfortunate blow on his head from pacer Kartik Tyagi who bowled a bouncer in the first warm-up game, eventually ruling him out from the first Test.

Justin Langer added that Will Pucovski would have received his ‘baggy green’ as he should have debuted in first Test itself had he not suffered a concussion. He is, however, hopeful that the youngster will recover in time for the upcoming and remaining 3 Tests.

Steve Waugh's Son Takes Sabbatical From Cricket
Steve Waugh and Austin Waugh. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Steve Waugh’s Son Austin Waugh Takes Sabbatical From Cricket

Austin Waugh, the son of Australia’s great Steve Waugh, has taken a break from cricket, claiming that he is not interested in being a part of the game this year. It has been understood that the pressure of carrying such a famous surname may have contributed to the decision of the 21-year-old.

The right-hand batsman Austin Waugh gained fame after an unbeaten century in the Under-17 championships final in October, before impressing again at the under-19 championships. He also offers a clever medium-pace bowling option. Currently, he plays for Sydney grade club, Sutherland.

Steve Waugh's Son Austin Waugh Takes Sabbatical From Cricket 2
Image Credit: Twitter.

His Sutherland captain Ben Dwarshuis stated that Waugh’s interest in the game has waned and he won’t play this season. He further heaped praise on the youngster, stating that he has a lot of potentials.

“He wasn’t that interested in playing this year and wanted to spend a little bit of time away from it,” Sutherland captain Ben Dwarshuis told The Sunday Telegraph about Austin Waugh.

“He’s a great player with a lot of potential but you never want to push someone to play.”

Hopeful Austin Waugh returns soon: Dwarshuis

Steve Waugh's Son Austin Waugh Takes Sabbatical From Cricket 3
Austin Waugh. Image Credit: Twitter.

Dwarshuis added that the burden of a huge surname might have added pressure on the Austin Waugh but hopes that the allrounder soon returns in the game.

“The game can take its toll and having Waugh as a surname just adds that little bit of extra pressure.

“I think he’s enjoying a bit of time away. Hopefully, he takes a year off and comes back refreshed and loving his cricket again.”

Meanwhile, Steve Waugh has led the Australian national team to great heights. He is one of only twelve players to have scored more than 10,000 Test runs.

Steve Waugh has played in 168 Tests and 325 ODIs from 1984 to 200. The former cricketer is currently one of the mentors of the Australian team.

Virat Kohli. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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A Bit Disappointed And Surprised – Steve Waugh On Virat Kohli’s Withdrawal From Last Three Test Matches Against Australia

Former Australian World Cup-winning captain Steve Waugh is surprised with Virat Kohli’s decision to leave the Indian team in between a high-level Test series against Australia. Team India captain will return home after playing the first Test match under the light scheduled on December 17. He has taken paternity leave to be with his wife Anushka Sharma on the birth of their first child.

Virat Kohli is not only Team India’s batting mainstay but also a huge crowd puller. His absence will also affect the viewership and thus, broadcasters, who are already suffering financial crises because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Bit Disappointed And Surprised – Steve Waugh

Virat Kohli, Ricky Ponting
Virat Kohli and Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steve Waugh is also a bit disappointed to not see him in the whole series albeit it carries huge importance in Virat’s career. He, however, admitted that family is always the priority for players.

Steve Waugh,
Steve Waugh (Image Credit: Google)

“I’m a little bit disappointed he’s not going to be there, and a bit surprised. This was really shaping up as one the key series of his whole career after he’s achieved just about everything. But obviously family comes first,” Steve Waugh said. 

Virat Kohli will be with the team in the three-match ODI series as well as the T20I series. He will also play the first-ever day-night Test match between India and Australia in Adelaide before returning to India.

We have to respect Virat Kohli’s decision: Nick Hockley 

Virat Kohli (India) vs Tim Paine (Australia)
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley respects Virat Kohli’s Choice as he prepares for fatherhood in January but is thrilled that the superstar will be there for most of the tour.

“We’re thrilled Virat is coming out for three ODIs, three T20s, the first ever day-night Test against India and we have to respect the fact he wants to be there for the birth of his first child. Clearly, (he is) one of the game’s absolute superstars. We’re looking forward to seeing him here for seven out of the 10 matches,” Hockley told Sydney radio station SEN.

Hockley reckons that it would be a fascinating series because there are other huge players featuring in the much-awaited tour.

“You’ve got a good number of players from both sides who played the last series in Australia which India won. There’ll be a huge amount to play for … it will be fascinating series,” said Hockley. 

Team India will leave Australia on November 12.

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