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Steve: You’ve got to respect Sourav

Calcutta: One-time bitter critic Steve Waugh has lavished handsome praise on Sourav Ganguly, revealing his grudging respect for the former Team India captain.

Waugh’s comments, published in the Australian newspaper The Herald Sun, comes just ahead of Sourav’s 100th Test at the MCG.

“You don’t have to like or dislike him. You’ve got to respect him,” the former Australia captain said.

“That’s probably the best accolade you can get in international cricket… Earning respect from your teammates and opposition.

“There are certain things that rub people the wrong way, but that’s just him.”

On the 2001 tour of India, Sourav got under Steve’s skin by failing to turn up on time for the toss on four occasions during the Test and one-day series, often leaving the Australian fuming in the outfield.

When Sourav reached his half-century in the final one-day game in Goa, he provocatively took a red rag out of his pocket, which seemed a taunt at Waugh’s famous handkerchief.

“I think there were times when he pushed it a bit far with the toss,” Waugh said.

“It wasn’t only myself, the Match Referee warned him a number of times not to do it and he continued to do it.

“That was a lack of respect. But that was his choice, fair enough. That’s dead and buried now.

Waugh seemed overwhelmed by the way Sourav, who was dropped unceremoniously during the Greg Chappell regime, worked his way back into the team and has since been performing exceptionally well.

“He certainly is a very good player and it’s a credit to the way he has come back.

“Being dropped as a captain, in Australia that is a death sentence.

“But in India they give you a chance to get back in the side. He has fought hard to get back in there and he is probably batting as well as he has ever batted.

“That’s great resilience, great resistance and that’s a good example to the younger players.”

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