Waugh the catalyst

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Jan 08, 2022, 12:18

Saw a show yesterday where Waugh and Ponting were talking about the team they played in together.

Ponting said that Waugh was the first one to average 50 and it was a catalyst for how successful their batting became.

No doubt that side with filled with all-time greats but one wonders how different, if at all, things would have been had their captain averaged 40 instead of 50.

Ponting rates that bit of inspiration as pivotal to what him and others a achieved.

Pretty cool

Jan 08, 2022, 13:40

We also had a captain averaging 50.

Jan 08, 2022, 15:16

So have England, India and Sri Lanka.

Jan 08, 2022, 18:33

Good old days.

Jan 09, 2022, 12:49

Anyway, Draad

The point was that Waugh was one of the first at that time, to take his average above 50. He did so with a relatively restricted skill set.

My interest is in situations like that, stemming from one individual, and the percentage of positive outcomes that result from it.

That Oz team was one of the best sporting sides in history. And it looks like a good deal of that success can be traced back to one good apple.

Meaning the tangible average of 50+ was only a part of the success of having that average, at that time, in that team.

Jan 10, 2022, 07:53

Ja Plum, I got that...and my reference was to Greame Smith who did the same for us...we always had good players, but he also brought something special to make that a great team...we desperately need something or someone similar now...but first we should get the team environment right.

Steve Waugh set the bar high though...but GS got surprisingly close.

Jan 10, 2022, 08:31

…and my claim to fame is that I played against GS multiple times at school.

Him and a chappy from our school, Justin Baxter, went on to play for Gauteng together.

Justin was nominated best young bowler in his first season. Unfortunately he suffered a stress fracture in his back and became an accountant. Guy was clocking 130km/h in matric.

Smith’s benefit to our dressing room was that he was a man’s man that took the reigns at a young age. The buck always stopped with him and he was a guy the team could rally around. He was also a masterful tactician.

Jan 10, 2022, 08:43

"The buck always stopped with him and he was a guy the team could rally around. He was also a masterful tactician."

His leadership was apparent from the first time I saw him...and his determination next level.

Jan 10, 2022, 09:07

And yet some people didn’t like him.

We’ll never properly replace that guy.

Jan 10, 2022, 13:11

Interesting topic and an equally interesting point it deserves lively debate. Mark Waugh...... an exceptional talent, geez I could talk about him forever.......just bye the bye I actually had a chat with him at a charity function:)

Jan 10, 2022, 15:26

Waugh and Smith actually had a similar way of playing. Outside of Waugh’s refusal to play hook and pull shots of course.

Both used to leave well and force bowlers to get too straight, then punish them on line.

As far as purist test batting, that’s how openers are supposed to bat. And it’s something that is a gaping chasm in Markram’s game. The straight ball gets him in trouble when it should be what he’s trying to draw from the bowler.

Smith’s double ton at Lord’s is still one of the best test innings I’ve seen.

Jan 10, 2022, 16:45

Mental toughness is underrated in South African sport. Morne Steyn, villified but he kicked the two most important kicks since the Stransky drop.

Our current cricket team is filled with players who have either mental toughness or exceptional talent. I don’t think we have one player who has both,

Jan 10, 2022, 18:44

Cannot agree more with your statement mozart.

Mental toughness combined with natural sporting ability was never more evident in sport just take AB's case for example.

Many more SA sportsmen and women have had these qualities but it is sadly lacking in our teams now.

While we continue with the present selection formula instead of selecting talent we will continue to be average at best.

The damper on our sport is POLITICAL interference.

Jan 10, 2022, 23:51

Here’s an odd question.

How much mental toughness is required for bowler?

Who’d be SA’s most mental tough bowler?

In some sense, bowlers are lucky. If they get it wrong, it only costs them a boundary. It doesn’t require the hours upon hours of zen like focus. It’s nothing like batting at all.

Thinking about it, mental toughness as a bowler is probably most visible in how hard they fight. Even when the pitch is as flat as glass, to keep steaming in, working on a trap, being too proud to take a breather for a few balls and to keep the pressure as high as you can.

Saying all that, Dale Steyn is my pick.

Jan 11, 2022, 10:56

"Saying all that, Dale Steyn is my pick."

A super talent with dedication end perseverance...one of the best ever, not just for South Africa...once in a generation player..

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