Waugh, Muralitharan, Gilchrist and Kallis: Four iconic retirements against India
Steve Waugh (left), Muttiah Muralitharan (second from left), Adam Gilchrist (second from right) and Jacques Kallis

In the wake of Kumar Sangakkara’s retirement, Suraj Choudhari looks back at four other iconic statesmen who bid Test cricket goodbye against India.                                     

It’s a pity that great players seldom leave the game as gracefully as they arrived and played.  There are exceptions such as Greg Chappell, who slammed a 182 against Pakistan at Sydney in his farewell game. At least three out the four listed below ended illustrious careers on a similar note.


Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh played his final Test in the fourth game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Sydney in January 2004. He marked his end with his 50th Test half-century. On a fifth day pitch which refused to deteriorate, his innings of 81 wasn’t as much a match-saving effort as it was made out to be. However, he enthralled the Sydney crowd with a barrage of his trademark sweep shot. It was ironic that the same shot led to his demise eventually. Earlier, Waugh was excluded from the One-Day International (ODI) side after Australia’s dismal display in the 2001-02 VB series. Although he had a powerful yearning to conquer India in India, Ricky Ponting was breathing down his neck, eyeing Test captaincy. After Ponting led Australia to a World Cup title the previous year, the consensus was that it was time for Waugh to pass on the baton in Test cricket.


Muttiah Muralitharan

Muttiah Muralitharan had achieved in abundance as a bowler in his glorious career. His final hurrah was the first game against India at Galle in 2010. He was eight short of reaching the epochal milestone of 800 Test wickets, a record he successfully breached in this game. He carried Sri Lanka over the line in his last Test on the back of a mesmerising match haul of eight for 191. Although he continued to feature overs-limit cricket and played his final ODI against India in the 2011 World Cup final.

 

Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist wore the Baggy Green for one last time in the Adelaide Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in January 2008. The game resulted in a draw. What caused Gilchrist to retire was dropping a catch of VVS Laxman. That’s when he decided he had to go.  In his last 20 outings, he had averaged just over 31.84 with the bat as opposed to a much higher career average. But slowing reflexes behind the stumps and parched runs at the crease were the main reasons behind his retirement.

 


Jacques Kallis

The last time Proteas enjoyed the all-round pragmatic services of Kallis was in the second Test at Durban of the India in South Africa in Test series in December 2013.  He smashed a century and bid a profitable goodbye to Test cricket. South Africa won the game convincingly by 10 wickets and Kallis had a memorable farewell to remember. South Africa didn’t have many matches lined up for the upcoming season hence Kallis called it a day and that too on a good note.

 

(Suraj Choudhari, an avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with Criclife)