A thing of beauty is joy forever. Just how many times have we all come to hear this quote? It’s eternal and timeless, right? And sits thoroughly true for a batsman who possessed true grace and class. Mark Edward Waugh may not have become a cricketing icon like Sachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara but the New South Wales batsman was at his peak, one of the most difficult batsmen to bowl at and dismiss. Grace commanded every stroke he fashioned. In fact, it may not be incorrect to say, he didn’t strike the ball, but stroke it with a sense of charm.
The off drives and the elegant flicks toward fine leg. Even when Mark Waugh square cut a delivery, it carried a sense of beauty. It wasn’t disdainful dashes and wild slashes that accompanied the batting of cricket’s version of a jazz artist but a sense of modesty and silken touch. To this day, the quintessential nineties kids would regard the batsman as highly as they did when they were growing up as school boys and coming to age.
Although, it’s a shame that Mark Waugh’s glittering career also befriended unfriendly episodes such as his proximity along with Shane Warne’s to bookies whom the duo were found guilty of having provided information on the nature of a pitch once.
That said, rest everything was all classy and dashing about the man described as ‘Junior Waugh!’
And now, Mark Waugh has shared his two cents on who he reckons might become the next Australian cricket captain. We do know the fact that Tim Paine isn’t in the right place at the moment to build the team further. Someone needs to take up the Test reins and build the bastion of excellence that is Cricket Australia into a force that can perhaps challenge the might of an India and England, for argument’s sake.
So who is it? Who does Waugh think will take over? Smith? Warner? Who?
Mark Waugh shared the following thoughts- “I think when Tim Paine finishes, which could be after the Ashes, I think there are only two choices: Pat Cummins and Steve Smith!”
But he’d also add as to why Pat Cummins could be an ace of a choice in further adding, “That’s our field of choices and I don’t think the selectors will steer too far clear of that. There are no other candidates from what I can see unless someone jumps out of the ground. But I’d say Pat Cummins is favourite to be captain, Steve Smith vice-captain!”
That being said, perhaps it’s only fair to think of Cummins as being the right man to lead Australia. And if it happens, it’ll be interesting to see a fast bowler leading the Aussies. In the past, during Mark Waugh’s time in the side, there were great fast bowlers of the repute of Glenn McGrath but even his likes weren’t cut out for captaincy.
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But where it comes to Pat Cummins, a cricketer respected by his contemporaries and perhaps universally admired for the fairness and decency with which he conducts himself- perhaps Australia may have among themselves a quality leader who is ready to march on and develop a team of explosive talents that can once again take the Australian cricket to soaring heights.
What do you reckon? Perhaps Steve Smith in a captain’s role would be a bit of a strange thing to evidence simply based on the fact that the great batsman was involved in a dubious incident, which not only threatened his own path but brought shame to a culture that’s given so much to the world of cricket. And having a serious defaulter lead the side would perhaps set a strange example.