Melbourne: Australia selector Allan Border suggested on Tuesday that Steve Waugh could continue captaining the Test side “until he drops”.
Border was part of the selection panel that dropped the 38-year-old Waugh from the one-day side last year, depriving him of the chance of retaining the World Cup.
Border — who holds the world record for Test runs of 11,174, a mark now being threatened by Waugh — however, said Waugh continued to look good enough for that milestone.
“He just looks the goods, doesn’t he'” Border was quoted as saying on the Australian Broadcasting Corp. website. “And the side plays well under his captaincy. So at this stage it’s hard to see a final scenario for Stephen. It might just be a situation that he keeps going till he drops.”
Waugh, who has scored 10,521 runs in a world record 162 Tests, scored hundreds in both Tests of last month’s series against Bangladesh. He has 32 centuries, one more than Sachin Tendulkar and two less than Sunil Gavaskar.
Waugh’s century from the last ball of the day in the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January came at a time when he was under pressure to retain his place in the side.
Following a successful series against West Indies and Bangladesh, however, the determined New South Welshman is looking forward to Australia’s tour of India in 2004.
His last Test tour there in 2000-01 ended in a 1-2 defeat as Australia’s unprecedented run of 16 wins in a row came to a halt.
‘Warne may be back straightaway’
Disgraced leg spinner Shane Warne is good enough to make an immediate return to the Test squad after completing his 12-month drug ban next February, Border said.
Border, 48, who was Warne’s first Test captain in 1992, said Australia’s leading wicket-taker would have the opportunity to train with the national squad as a guest during his suspension.
“I think he’s so good that he could come straight back into the squad and we’ll have the opportunity in the summer months to get Shane involved in the squad,” Border said in the interview. “He’s allowed to bowl in the nets and prepare himself, so we’ll just monitor how he’s going in the nets.”
Warne’s suspension ends on February 10, 2004 and Australia are scheduled to tour Sri Lanka later that month.
The controversial bowler, named in 2000 as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the century, boasts 491 wickets in 107 matches.