There was a time when Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara had to battle with Steve Waugh for the best Test batsman spot, and Waugh's consistency at winning matches for his teams stood him out in from the rest.
Starting his career as a bowling all-rounder, his ability to bowl at the death of ODIs and remain cool under pressure earned him the sobriquet of Iceman and played a huge role in winning the 1987 Reliance Cup for Allan Border and Australia. A form slump meant that he was dropped in the early 1990s to be replaced by his twin brother Mark, but that only went a long way in resurrecting his technique and causing heartaches to opposition bowlers. An apparent suspect against the short ball, the bowlers from around the world would target the man's rib cage, Waugh would continue getting hit and fending deliveries off awkwardly, but not get out, in the end tiring out all of them in this fashion. His tough as nails attitude rubbed onto his other team mates as well, and a skipper, Waugh led his team to a record 16 consecutive Test triumphs.
Steve Waugh’s more than 10, 000 runs in Test cricket had come in all kinds of situations; batting with tail enders, batting with backs to the wall, and even batting with career-threatening injuries. But all of this was overshadowed somewhat by the sledging – under the guise of ‘mental disintegration’ – that he so indulged in. His words to Herschelle Gibbs in the World Cup 1999 match when the latter dropped his catch, “You have dropped the World Cup mate” have been immortalized forever. Waugh played his last international game in a Test match against India in 2003-04.
- Australia Vs India at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne - Victoria - Dec 26, 1985
- Last played:
- Australia Vs India at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Sydney - Jan 02, 2004
- Australia Vs New Zealand at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne - Victoria - Jan 09, 1986
- Last played:
- Australia Vs South Africa at W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth - Western Australia - Feb 03, 2002