Known as the “ultimate evolved cricketer,” Steve Waugh started his career at the age of 20. Just like his predecessors before him, Waugh was also a pillar of mental stamina and immense patience in Australian cricket.
When his predecessors like Mark Taylor and Allan Border brought a sense of work culture and work ethic, this work ethic showed the best side of the Australian team. While on the other hand, Steve Waugh showed how ruthless the Australian team could be; with him, the ruthless side of the Australian team came out.
For a sportsman, the “fighting character” is not present in everyone; it is not something you inherit from others. You have to work hard to prove your presence, and that too, without much talking. This is exactly what Steve Waugh did; for him, when you lose a game, it’s not defeat.
Under the captaincy of Steve Waugh, the Australian national team weren’t winning the game anymore; they were annihilating the opponents. Since he was the most successful Australian captain, surely his strategy of being ruthless against his opponents worked.
He was given the nickname “Iceman,” because he was able to hold his nerves while bowling against the threatening West Indies team. People call MS Dhoni “Captain Cool,” but Steve Waugh kept a cool and composed look in front of the worst of adversities.
Steve Waugh is beloved among all cricket lovers worldwide because he portrayed the right spirit of playing the game. His ideology of playing a game of stubborn cricket as it is the only way to ensure success.
Who Is Steve Waugh?
This former Australian captain was born in New South Wales and began his cricketing career at the age of 20. Throughout his early days, he was tagged as a “moderately talented” player, where he lost his Test place to his own brother Mark Waugh.
After a change in his whole batting style and forgoing his balling due to back problems, Steve Waugh came back with a bang. This ensured a series of epic results. A 200 run in Jamaica in 94-95 ensured Australia to win an epic series and also in 97 Ashes series, his unforgetting twin centuries, at Old Trafford.
He went on to become the captain of the national team, succeeding Mark Taylor in 1999. Under his captaincy, Australia went on to be the winner of 16 consecutive Test matches, which is a record.
Along with Shane Warne by his side, he led Australia to be the world champions in the 1999 World Cup. This world cup win made him the 2nd Australian to win the World Cup trophy twice; the first was Tim Moody.
Waugh continued his winning streak as a Test captain by winning the 2002-03 Ashes series. At the age of 36, he was awarded the Allan Border Medal as Best Player of 2001 in Australia. He finally retired in 2003-04, against a series with India.
Steve Waugh being such an extraordinary and hardworking player himself can easily recognise other players like a young Sachin Tendulkar. He recalls Tendulkar’s innings at the 2003 Sydney Test, “I watch this 17-year old score a century at Perth on a pitch with bounce and pace, which subcontinent players weren’t supposed to do well on.”
After studying Sachin’s play during the 2003-04 series, he saw Sachin getting out while playing the cover drive shots. They tried to curb his game by letting him play his favourite shot.
But to his immense shock, he recalls, “We did think for a while that he had a weakness with the ball coming back in through the gate driving on the up. We got him out a couple of times so maybe we could get him out playing the cover drive.”
To his utter disappointment, he recalled, “That was our plan in Sydney and he refused to play a cover drive and got 241 not out. So it just shows he can adapt his game and overcome the plans of the opponent.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)!
If you want to know more about Steve Waugh, here are a few questions others have asked about him.
Ans: Steve Waugh wife Lynette and him are still together. They are married since 1990 and have 3 kids together. He always appreciated how his wife, held the family together when he was away for different tours.
Ans: Steve Waugh was the captain of the Australian National team from 1997 till he retired in 2004. And he is responsible for Australia’s 16 consecutive Test wins.
He even won the World Cup for Australia in 1999 as captain. He is among the most successful Test Captains in the World, with a winning ratio of about 72%.
Ans: Steve Waugh retired two years after his brother Mark Waugh retired from International cricket in 2002. He felt lost in the Test team without his twin brother by his side.
Steve Waugh is the player who created the whole ruthless and feared character of the Australian cricket team in the 90s. He was among the greatest players in Australia, if not the world. Very few crickets had his character of hard work and fighting spirit.