Waugh bowled over by Clarke display

Waugh bowled over by Clarke display

Legendary Australian skipper Steve Waugh said that he was nervous when he stepped out to play his 100th Test, but that wouldn’t be a problem with Virender Sehwag, who is on the threshold of the same milestone himself.

Waugh, who was in Bangalore to announce his initiative Sporting Edge’s collaboration with Brigade Gateway in an attempt to instill a sporting culture in India, also lauded Michael Clarke’s aggressive batting display at the Adelaide Oval against South Africa in the second Test. Excerpts from his media interaction:

On Virender Sehwag and his milestone: Well, it’s a fantastic achievement, he’ll be a bit nervous, I was nervous on my 100th Test because I wanted to do well.

But knowing Sehwag, after playing one ball, he’ll be on his way, and he won’t be nervous. The way he has always played, I won’t be surprised if he celebrates it with a century.

On whether T20 is changing the scoring rate in Tests: Yes, obviously the players play free, they are more relaxed and the bats are bigger. My son (Austin) has a bat and it is bigger than any bat I have ever used. Balls just fly off the bat. I’ve seen modern bats, and they are really, really thick... probably three times thicker than Bradman’s.

The boundaries are smaller and the batsmen are playing newer shots. The days of Test matches where a run rate of two or three would be good are well and truly over. It’s great fun, but I still enjoy seeing Tests where bowlers dominate.

On foriegn players finding it hard to adapt to Indian conditions: It’s not so much about adjustments. This is not the first time these guys are playing here, it isn’t like they haven’t experienced the pitches or a crowd atmosphere like this. When I first came here in 1986, we didn’t know anything -- the conditions, crowds, hotels, food -- everything was new. Nothing is a surprise for these guys. It isn’t a problem to play away from home now.

That’s pretty much the case with everyone, people play in Australia, Sri Lanka... all over, not just their own countries. I don’t think it’s a big deal.

On Michael Clarke’s form: I saw a little of the game today (Adelaide Test), and he is batting as well as anyone has ever batted.

I can’t imagine even (Don) Bradman playing better than how Clarke is playing now. He obviously enjoys the responsibility of captaincy.

On whether Ricky Ponting should retire: I don’t want get into selection controversy. We all know he is a great player. The thing is, in a team sport, it isn’t necessarily about individual performance, it is about how you work as a team.

When working together, someone fails then hopefully someone else will step up and do well.  And later when someone else is not doing well, someone else reciprocates the favour. This is what makes a strong side.

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