Johannesburg: They might have been sacked more than a year ago, but Steve and Mark Waugh continue to cast a giant shadow over Australia’s World Cup preparations.
Cricket’s most famous twins have not played a one-day International in over 12 months, but the current Australian squad are still getting used to them not being around. Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist admits it is an odd feeling to be starting cricket’s biggest tournament while the Waughs are back home playing in front of a handful of spectators in the domestic league.
“I guess it is a bit weird,” Gilchrist said. “It’s really strange looking at the domestic scores coming through from Australia and seeing their names, especially with Steven peeling off century after century as he seems to be doing at the moment.”
Bitterly disappointed, the 37-year-old has spent the past month making a mockery of the selectors’ decision by scoring a mountain of runs, including a century in the last Ashes Test and a double-hundred in a state game against Victoria this week.
Glenn McGrath thinks other senior players just have to assume bigger roles in the Waughs’ absence, following the lead of new captain Ricky Ponting.
“I think I play better when I have more responsibility,” McGrath said. “Ricky is good like Steven because he doesn’t put himself up on a pedestal but is ready to listen to advice from the people around him.”