Monday, January 25, 2016

The Fantastico Duo of Aussie's who I grew up adoring! - Part I

The Fantastico Duo of Aussie's who I grew up adoring! - Part I

When I was a kid the Australian team was in the ascendancy and they were to rule the cricketing world for years to come. They left a huge impact on my young impressionable mind and they were the team that each one of us hated. They were the team that we wanted to lose. We supported any team that would be playing against the Aussie's, they were a team full of arrogant and loud mouthed players who bragged and boasted about themselves and left no stone un-turned to put the opposition players down.

But as they say, everyone in a team is not the same and there were some Australian's whom I loved to watch. They are the Fantastico Duo who captured my imagination.

Steve Waugh

He was the hero of many who grew up in the 90's, there were many of those who grew up idolizing him. He had nerves of steel and was a brilliant thinker of the game. It was a joy to see him battle out there in the middle, tire the opposition out and out-think each and everyone.

He could play fast bowling and spin bowling equally well and the slog sweep and flicks were his favourite shots. Along with Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath he laid the foundation of the Australian team which would scale unprecedented heights under his tenure. He led the Aussie's to 15 wins out of their 16 Test wins on the trot and he led them to a World Cup win in 1999.

He played a whopping 168 tests and scored over 10000 runs and he played 325 ODI matches for the Australians in which he amassed more than 7500 runs. Steve Waugh was perhaps the most loved Aussie of his time by any Indian. His grit and determination made him an extraordinary cricketer, he scaled unbelievable heights even though he was limited talent-wise.

Mark Waugh

He was nicknamed Junior as he was the younger twin brother of Steve Waugh. He was known for his batting wizardry and languid poise. He was one of the most graceful players to play the game in the 1990's. His use of the feet against the spinners made him a very good player who conquered the sub-continental conditions but he was equally adept at facing fast bowling as well.

He opened the batting for Australia at the 1996 World Cup and scored 3 centuries in the tournament. He could also bowl handy off breaks and was a superb slip catcher. When he retired he held the record for the highest ODI centuries for Australia (18) and the highest catches in Test cricket. Both of these records have been broken since. He was embroiled in match fixing scandals later in his career but nothing conclusive came out of it.

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