The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Australia on an automatic pilot’

Melbourne: Australia Test captain Steve Waugh, who is under pressure to hold his place in the team beyond the current Ashes series, believes his side is running so smoothly it can almost do without a leader.

“I think it’s got to the stage now where the team basically is on automatic pilot,” Waugh said.

“Our team meetings normally last about five minutes. When I first came into the side (17 years ago) they could go for an hour, an hour and a half.

“The team is running really smoothly now. That is a sign that you’ve done your job pretty well.”

Waugh said he would not be making a decision on his playing future until after the Sydney Test, starting January 2.

While many commentators see the Sydney Test as a fitting farewell for one of Australia’s most admired sportsmen, rather than taking his chances for selection in next year’s West Indies tour, Waugh said he was not seeking accolades.

“I’m not after fairytales mate,” Waugh said on Wednesday. “I feel there is so much goodwill and I appreciate that but an extra couple of claps in Sydney is not going to make any difference and it’s not going to change the way people feel.

“I just want to go out there and play my cricket. It can become too emotional if you make a decision beforehand. I think it can affect the way you play.

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