Former Australian captain Steve Waugh was indeed a masterful tactician and was one of the integral reasons that the national team enjoyed a golden period for over a decade. Under Steve Waugh, Australia recorded 16 consecutive Test victories, won the 1999 World Cup, and was the last captain to win an away Ashes series. And the 55-year old has advised where the current crop has gone wrong in winning Tests.
Current Australian Test captain Tim Paine had earned the backing to restore the team’s reputation after the ball-tampering scandal. While the keeper-batsman managed to do that; however, he lost two consecutive home series against the Indian side. The most recent one occurred even as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the first Test and failed to close out the final two matches in Sydney and Brisbane.
Paine’s captaincy came under criticism as well as his performance behind the stumps – both of which were underwhelming. While Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon’s form was incredibly concerning, the batting line-up also operated around Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Smith and Labuschagne were the top two run-getters in the four-match rubber.
Steve Waugh highlighted that with captains planning so much these days, they tend to overlook plan B or C and leave behind out of box and left-field thinking when the original plans do not work. Waugh also claimed that leaders should refuse to over rely on their frontline bowlers as they can sometimes get exhausted.
“You’re planning so much these days, and have all these set plans. (But) when it doesn’t work out, you mightn’t have that Plan B or Plan C, or the one that’s a bit out of the box and left-field thinking. That was possibly needed by Australia in a few of the matches they should’ve won against India. Maybe we relied too much on the quartet of amazing bowlers and sometimes those guys get tired,”
When (Plan A) doesn’t work you sort of forget about those intuitive instinctive moments: Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh commented that most captains forget the intuitive or instinctive moments needed to win a Test match if Plan A doesn’t pay off. The New South Wales-born cricketer feels Australia have missed out on those in the last 12 months or so.
“When (Plan A) doesn’t work you sort of forget about those intuitive instinctive moments that sometimes you need to win a Test match – and potentially we’ve probably missed out on that over the last 12 months,”