Happy Birthday Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh: Australian Cricket’s Legendary Twins Turns 55
Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh file image©Twitter

Hailed as one of the most successful or popular twins in the history of gentlemen’s game – Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh were born on this day 55 years ago Canterbury, New South Wales. Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh played international cricket together for Australia for more than a decade and established themselves as one of the best brothers pair to play the game.

The elder of two – Steve, who is regarded as one of the greatest captains of all-time, was the first one to make an international debut. He was included in the Boxing Day Test against India at the MCG in 1985. Later, Steve was included in the national ODI team a year later.

He shot to limelight first during the 1987 ODI World Cup in the Indian subcontinent where his ability to tie down the batsmen in death overs earned him the tag of ‘Iceman’. Australia went on to win the World Cup, defeating arch-rivals England by seven runs in the final.

Under Steve Waugh, Australia went on to become the most dominant side of the late 90s and 2000s and also ruled the world cricket stage for nearly two decades. He remodelled the Australian team into an ubeatable unit and set an unmatched record of 16 straight Test wins.

Steve also led Australia to another World Cup title in 1999 in England. During his five-year stint as captain, Australia won 41 of the 57 Tests and lost nine.

Steve finished with 10,927 runs from 168 Tests at a brilliant average of 51.06. In ODIs, he finished with 7569 runs from 325 ODIs at an average of 32.90.

Strangely, a string of poor performances in the subsequent Test matches led to the ouster of Steve from the Australian team during the 1991 Ashes series. Cricket Australia replaced the elder brother in the playing XI with none other than his twin brother, Mark, who scored a hundred on his debut against England in Adelaide.

Mark made his debut in the ‘yellow jersey’ in 1988 against Pakistan. He played three World Cups for Australia and was a crucial part of the successful campaign in 1999.

Mark finished his international career with 8029 runs from 128 Tests at an average of 41.81. Known for his flamboyant style of play, he scored 8500 runs in 244 ODIs at an average of 39.35.

Over the years, the twin brothers went on to fashion a number of memorable victories together and played a key role in helping Australia become a dominating Test side during the 90s.

The twins had a fair amount of success in limited-overs too where Mark made a name for himself as an elegant opener while Steve carved a niche for himself in the middle order as a gritty batsman.