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Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
Outlook.com
captain's knock

Aye, Aye... Cap'n

The Aussies want to give Waugh a prize retirement gift. Bad news for the Indians.

Aye, Aye... Cap'n
Aye, Aye... Cap'n
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Stephen started his Test career when I was a 11-year-old, and I have fond memories of watching him on television and later, playing alongside him in a number of games. Some of the most awesome batting displays I have witnessed from the dressing room have come off his blade. I just have to think of the century he scored in Sydney last year, the ton he scored in Oval in 2001, with a badly injured calf, and the century he made against South Africa in the 1999 World Cup when every run was worth its weight in gold, to realise how much we will miss him after the Sydney Test. Each of these knocks underlined his calibre as a batsman who had the ability to score when each run counted. Even today, Stephen's commitment, work ethic and attitude are touchstones for the modern sports professional, and it is no mere chance that his career coincided with the ascent of Australia to the pinnacle of world cricket.

One of my stand-out memories of Stephen is of what must have been a difficult time in his career. I had replaced him as the captain of the one-day side that toured South Africa in 2001-2002. The one-day series was immediately after the Test series, and Stephen was scheduled to fly out with the Test players the next day. We spent some time together on the night before his departure, and his advice to me has often come back to me over these past two years. Stephen had told me then that I should always see myself first and foremost as a batsman who had to score consistently for the team, and only then as the captain. He told me never to let the responsibilities of captaincy lead to my neglecting my batting. Because if my batting went off the rails, it would be even more difficult for me to do justice to my duties as captain. There are times when as captain one does worry about the problems and bad form of those around him. It is at such times that I silently thank Stephen for giving me such sound advice at the start of my tenure as captain of an Australian cricket team.

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