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The end of the Waugh era

It seems like Karma for Steve Waugh. The Ice Man is ending his glorious inning as a cricketer against India, the very team that he played against while starting his career over 18 years ago.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2003 19:02 IST

It seems like Karma for Steve Waugh. The Ice Man is ending his glorious inning as a cricketer against India, the very team that he played against while starting his career over 18 years ago.

The name – Steve Waugh - has almost become synonymous with Australian cricket. No other player has captained the side and taken it to such unprecedented heights. The name elicits the same reverence as the legendary Sir Don Bradman.

Tough, competitive, highly skilled as well as ruthless on the field, Waugh has emerged as the game’s most successful captain so far. With 40 victories from 53 matches and a success rate of 75.47 per cent, his captaincy reinvigorated the Australian team and brought the label of ‘world beaters’ to it. And all this in just over four years of being at the helm

Waugh, who played much of his glorious Test career with his twin brother Mark, took over the captaincy from Mark Taylor in 1999.

His philosophy of pressuring the opponents by attacking right from the word go has ensured that the team dominates in all aspects of the game.

Notwithstanding the pressures of leading a team, Waugh has crossed several important individual milestones during his career too. In a Test career spanning 19 years, Waugh has compiled 32 Test centuries, second only to Sunil Gavaskar's 34.

His batting average remains a good 51.12 from 166 Tests. His not-so-regular display of medium pace at the crease has also netted him 91 wickets, besides 112 catches.

Waugh’s long innings at the team’s helm have not been without a struggle. An out-of- form Waugh had to give up one-day captaincy, something that did not deter him from performing well in the longer version of the game.

Waugh produced one of his most sterling performances in the Fifth Ashes Test against England by scoring 102 when the chips were down. Australia lifted the Ashes once again after the match.

One-down in the current Test series against India, Waugh would surely be vying for a series victory before he bids farewell to the game finally in January 2004.