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‘I am not calling for Steve’s head yet’

Perth: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh is being challenged to keep his place in the world’s best Test side, the legendary Dennis Lillee said here Friday.

Waugh, 37, was “the standout failure in the home side” in the first Test against England in Brisbane, Lillee said in the West Australian. Australia crushed their old rivals by 384 runs in the match — but Waugh failed with the bat in both innings.

“I’m not calling for the Australian captain’s head just yet,” Lillee said. “But if Waugh seriously entertains thoughts of touring the West Indies early next year, he had better start making a better fist of England’s fast bowling than he did in the first Test.

“That England’s far from ferocious pace attack was able to get rid of Waugh cheaply twice at the Gabba caused me to raise my eyebrows. If Waugh is genuinely struggling to handle that calibre of fast bowling, it does not augur well for his prospects in the Caribbean.

“Although the Aussies will not encounter the pace and venom served up by the likes of messrs Roberts, Croft, Holding, Marshall, Garner and Ambrose, what the West Indies gives you these days is still mean, at times dangerous and certainly unrelenting.”

Lillee said that although Waugh was a loser in round one, his grit, determination and love of a challenge were well known.

“And, make no mistake, he is being challenged,” Lillee said.

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