Can’t wait for pace quartet to bowl in tandem: Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh, Australian cricket legend, believes Australia’s best four pacemen rival “any quick bowling quartet” in cricket history. Playing 168 Tests during a lengthy career spanning from 1985-2004, Waugh played with and against some of the best pace bowling arsenals ever assembled. In the Australian summer of 1988-89, Waugh faced the fearsome West Indian pace battery comprising of Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Patrick Patterson. Unable to curtail them, Australia were thrashed in the opening three Tests and lost the five match series 3-1.
But the 51-year-old believed Australia’s best current pace bowlers, if fit, could match any pace battery ever assembled. “I can’t wait for all of the quicks to get together who are injured now,” Waugh told on Wednesday (June 15). “James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood as a quartet would be as good, if not better, than any quick bowling quartet in the history of the game.” Unfortunately for Australia, there is an asterix next to Waugh’s bold statement because the quartet have never played together due to injuries. Pattinson has only played 17 Tests since his scintillating debut against New Zealand in December of 2011 but, of course, that’s still 16 more than the luckless Cummins, who took seven wickets on Test debut in South Africa as an 18-year-old five years ago but has not worn the baggy green since.
Starc has been almost unplayable with the white ball and showed glimpses of greatness at Test level before being sidelined for six months following ankle surgery late last year. The 26-year-old has made his international comeback during the tri-series in the Caribbean and will spearhead Australia’s attack in a three-Test series in Sri Lanka starting in July.
Hazelwood, 25, is probably the least striking of the quartet but his accurate bowling from a great height has been a revelation in Test cricket and earned comparisons to Glenn McGrath, the legendary Australian paceman who took 563 Test wickets from 1993-2007.
Waugh believed Australia would be impregnable if either Moises Henriques or Mitch Marsh starred as bowling all-rounders. “They haven’t come together as a unit yet but when that happens I think Australia will be pretty much unbeatable,” Waugh said. “We’ll go to the
next level.”
Waugh, who won 41 of 57 Tests as captain from 1999-2004, praised Australia’s current skipper Steve Smith and the team’s top-order batting. “Steve Smith is a great leader and people want to play for him, which is absolutely crucial as a captain,” he said. “Davey Warner is an amazing cricketer and Usman Khawaja is coming through nicely. It’s an exciting time and we have some really good young players.”

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