By BV Swagath
Born on today, June 2nd are the Australian greats Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh who delighted cricket fans mostly during the 1990s. Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh are twin brothers. Mark Waugh is the younger of the two born four minutes after Steve. These twin brothers have gone onto become world class players. Their other brother, Dean Waugh, four years younger than them was also into cricket but had played just the one first class game.
The Waugh twins were born in 1965 in Canterbury, New South Wales. They became the first twins in Men’s International Cricket to play together in a Test Match which happened in 1991. Steve Waugh made his International Debut much earlier than that in 1985 in a Test Match against India. His ODI Debut was in 1986 against New Zealand. Steve Waugh began as a middle order batsman who could bowl more than useful medium pace. Waugh is known for his resilience as a batsman. Although, Steve Waugh did not have the greatest of techniques, especially against short pitch deliveries, he used to survive somehow taking quite a few body blows but never ever was going to throw his wicket away.
Steve Waugh might have looked ugly at the crease against the quick bowlers but his determination to fight it out and do so for long periods of time was immense. At one stage, Steve was considered as the best Test batsman in the World! Steve Waugh was a clever medium pacer who could swinng and reverse swing the ball beautifully and also mix it up with variety of slower ones. He had to reduce his bowling workload though because of back problems.
The Senior Waugh went onto become one of the successful Australian Captains after replacing mark Taylor in 1999. Steve was part of the Australian team that won the 1987 and the 1999 World Cups. He played 168 Tests from 1985 to 2004 scoring 10927 runs at a superb average of 51.06. Waugh scored 32 100s and 50 50s with a career best of 200. He also has 92 Test wickets. In ODIs, Steve Waugh played 325 matches while scoring 7569 runs at 32.90 average with a career best of 120*. With the ball, Steve Waugh contributed significantly for the Aussies taking 195 wickets with three 4-wicket hauls.
Mark Waugh on the other hand made his International Debut in 1988 through an ODI against Pakistan. His Test Debut came only in 1991 against England. Mark Waugh was surely more talented and versatile with the bat than his twin brother Steve. At one stage during the mid 90s, Mark Waugh was considered as the World’s Best Batsman along with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. This was especially in the ODIs when Mark Waugh was sensational with his opening partner Adam Gilchrist.
Mark Waugh was also a very stylish player and a superb slip fielder. He also chipped in as a medium pacer in his initial days and later on switched to off spin and with it did a lot of fill-up job for the Aussies with the ball. Mark went onto play 128 Tests from 1988 to 2002 scoring 8029 runs with 20 100s and 47 50s. The middle order batsman in Test Cricket had a slightly lower average for his standards at 41.81 and his career highest score is 153*. In the ODIs, Mark Waugh was a Master in that format, scoring 8500 runs at 39.35 average in 244 matches. He scored 18 100s and 50 50s with a career best of 173.