Steve Waugh, the former Australian cricketer, is regarded as one of the most successful captains his country has produced. He took over from Mark Taylor in 1999 and started with a 2-2 series draw against the West Indies. But then on the tour of Sri Lanka, he was faced with a rough situation. During the first Test in Kandy, the Sydney-born was involved in a nasty collision with teammate Jason Gillespie.
Both of them were going for a catch and due to lack of communication, they rammed into each other. Even as Waugh broke his nose, Gillespie broke his leg and both of them had to be hospitalised. Realising the gravity of the scenario, Waugh decided to bring a change to his approach. He also called the incident as a ‘turning point’ of his captaincy career.
He narrated the incident to Damian Barrett on a recent episode of the AFL journalist’s podcast In The Game. “At 33 it still probably took me 6-12 months to realise my style. I was still probably leading by consensus a bit early on because I’d been mates with these guys (teammates) for a long period of time and all of a sudden I was the leader,” Waugh said.
Steve Waugh trusted his gut instinct
“So, having to separate myself a little bit from the rest of the guys was a challenge. I finally realised that when I was in a hospital bed in Colombo with a broken nose and Jason Gillespie had a broken leg,” he stated.
“I was sitting there in a hospital bed thinking, ‘If I never get to captain again, have I done myself justice? Had I done it my way?’ And the answer was, no I hadn’t. From that point on I said just trust my gut instinct and do it my way. And that was probably the turning point in my captaincy career,” Waugh added.
As Australia’s captain, Waugh made the team a near-invincible one. Out of the 57 Tests he captained in, the Aussies emerged triumphant in 41 games. They also managed to create a world record of 16 consecutive victories from 2000-2001.
As a batsman, Waugh notched over 18,000 runs at the highest level with 35 centuries and 95 half-centuries. The now 55-year-old retired after the Sydney Test against India in 2004.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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