World Cup 2019: Steve Waugh has final word

World Cup 2019: Steve Waugh has final word


Steve Waugh was sad that his country could not qualify for World Cup final here, but the four-time World Cupper (1987, 1992, 1996 and 1999) was delighted with the prospect of having a new world champion this Sunday.

India captain Virat Kohli and NZ skipper Kane Williamson after Wednesday’s semi-final. Pic/AFP

Harit N JoshiLondon: Australia’s 1999 World Cup-winning captain Steve Waugh was sad that his country could not qualify for World Cup final here, but the four-time World Cupper (1987, 1992, 1996 and 1999) was delighted with the prospect of having a new world champion this Sunday. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Criio Cup competition here yesterday, Waugh spoke on several aspects of the World Cup.

Excerpts:

On Australia’s semi-final loss to NZ:
It’s called cricket. Someone’s going to win, someone’s going to lose. England were too good. The first semi-final was a surprise. And in the second, the margin of victory was also surprising.

On whether Virat Kohli erred tactically v NZ:
I think it was a big surprise for you guys than for me. Did he make any tactical errors? No. NZ played really well. Jimmy Neesham’s brilliant catch and Martin Guptill’s run out… World Cup matches are sometimes won on fielding expertise. To win the World Cup you have got to be really street smart and that’s what they [NZ] did.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh

On the criticism against MS Dhoni:
Look, the guy has been a genius in one-day cricket. Again, the other day until the run out, he may have won the game. You have to remember if he wasn’t such a good player you wouldn’t be doubting what he is doing. Till he is there, he gives you opportunities. The amount of time he has got India across the line has been amazing.

On IPL-like playoffs for the World Cup:
The suggestion comes from India after their defeat in the semi-final. The current format is good. The World Cup is all about performing under pressure. I think one more game would drag the schedule.

On what makes this England team different from its predecessors:
Well, they play without fear [and] that is very hard to do in professional sport. There’s no weaknesses in the side. They are a very good fielding side, they bat all the way down, have numerous bowling options… they are almost a complete side — one of the best one-day sides I have seen. We will obviously judge them by their performance on Sunday. If they win, they will be one of the greatest one-day sides they’ve ever had. If they lose then they will be one of teams that tried but didn’t make it. They have the potential to be great one-day team.

On the prospect of having a new world champion:
It’s good. I think it’ll be really important for a team like New Zealand, which is a great rugby country. [They have] probably the greatest sporting team in the world in the All Blacks. Cricket is always [trying to] get a foot hole. So, to make the final and potentially win it will be game-changing for New Zealand. England, of course, have been to three World Cup finals. The country is very passionate about cricket. Look, if either side win, it’s going to be great for their country.

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