Steve Waugh v England, 157 not out - 10 Great Innings

During the Trent Bridge Test, Steve Waugh had been stretchered from the field with a torn calf muscle. Three weeks later, he was playing at The Oval. As you might expect, the muscle stiffened up a touch.

Australia were hardly in trouble when he started struggling, early in his innings. Waugh had arrived at the crease with Australia 489-3 having opted to bat first. No-one would have held it against him if he'd have retired hurt, but that wasn't really Steve Waugh's style.

Instead, he limped around like a pensioner who's been forced to sit cross-legged for nine hours. He stood in front of his stumps and worked the ball onto the leg side. He threw the bat and clobbered ugly, ugly fours through the covers. It was hideous and unnecessary and he hit 157 not out.

This sums up why we like Steve Waugh for two reasons. One, he was patently as hard as a battalion of adamantium sharks. Two, why give an opponent a chance?

We love that sporting mentality. Why the hell should he make anything any easier for England just because Australia were already crushing them easily? Why give them even the slimmest chance when you can keep them down where they've no chance of winning? He was injured, so fate had already handed England something on a plate. Why add to that?

We once ran a half-marathon with a torn calf muscle. We couldn't do anything for ages afterwards. It bloody killed.

10 Great Innings

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

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