‘Everybody tasted success but winning 15 Test matches on the trot is a phenomenal feat’ - Sanjay Bangar names Steve Waugh as the Greatest Test captain of the 21st century

‘Everybody tasted success but winning 15 Test matches on the trot is a phenomenal feat’ – Sanjay Bangar names Steve Waugh as the Greatest Test captain of the 21st century

Waugh captained the Baggy Green in 57 Tests and won 41.

Former Australian Cricket Captain, Steve Waugh.(Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh was a giant of the game. A supremely reliable and accomplished batsman, more than a part-time bowler, and arguably the finest captain in the history of the sport, under whom Australia became known for nothing but sheer domination.

The leader of the team in an era where the Australian team looked a collection of eleven legends, Waugh took the team to unmatched heights. So much so, that despite leaving the game many moons back, Waugh’s era is still considered to be the best ever of Australian cricket.

Therefore, it was not a surprise that he was chosen as the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) among Test captains of the 21st century through a poll conducted by Star Sports during the ICC World Test Championship Final. Waugh, who captained the Baggy Green in 57 Tests and won 41, pipped the likes of Virat Kohli, Graeme Smith and his own countrymate Ricky Ponting for the title. Meanwhile, South Africa legend Jacques Kallis was chosen as the Greatest all-rounder in Tests since the turn of the millennium.

Kallis, who notched up 13,289 runs at an impeccable average of 55.37 and picked 292 wickets, set a high benchmark for all-rounders across the globe. One of the finest players to have graced the cricket field, the Protea left behind players like Ben Stokes, Andrew Flintoff and Ravichandran Ashwin.

About Star Sports campaign

To celebrate historic feats in Test cricket, Star Sports strung together a mammoth activity to pick the Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) of the 21st century in Tests from among Batsmen, Bowlers, All-rounders and Captains. The winners were chosen by an elite 50-member jury comprising multiple legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Ian Bishop, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Scott Styris, Gautam Gambhir among others, renowned sports journalists and coaches.

Star Sports also provided the fans with an opportunity to vote for their G.O.A.T.s’ through a Twitter fan poll, that was held between 15th and 17th June 2021. To ensure complete transparency, the broadcaster followed a stringent category-wise selection procedure. All the statistics considered for the nominees are from or after January 1, 2000, only.

Speaking exclusively on STAR SPORTS’ SHOW CRICKET LIVE, during the ICC World Test Championship Final, former Team India batting coach Sanjay Bangar chose Steve Waugh as the Greatest Test captain of the 21st century, “If as leaders, you have the opportunity to actually dictate the way the culture of the team is and the outcomes that the team derives, then, in that case, all of them (nominees) were in quest of excellence. So is Virat, I do not doubt that he’ll end up being probably captaining more than any other captain in the history of the game, but that’s in the future. As far as those numbers are concerned, I have opted for Steve Waugh, because winning 15 or 16 Test matches on the trot, is a phenomenal feat. Yes, everybody else has tasted that success. But for me, it has to be Steve Waugh.”

Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman picks Jacques Kallis as the Greatest Of All Time all-rounder of the 21st century in Test Cricket, “It’s a very simple take here because he (Jacques Kallis) is just a fabulous player. He was a contender in the GOAT batsman category and then, when you see, in the bowling category, he has more than 200 wickets and then in the slips, like Shane mentioned, to take so many catches and so many match & series-winning performance. I have heard so many stories from Sunny Bhai and all those great players about Garry Sobers. So, in my generation the players who I’ve played against or who I saw – I think he (Jacques Kallis) is equal to Garry Sobers. He is just a phenomenal cricketer.”

Former New Zealand bowler Shane Bond picks Jacques Kallis as the Greatest Of All Time all-rounder of the 21st century in Test Cricket, “Unbelievable player! He is consistent with the bat; he is the rock of the South African batting line-up. But then to get nearly 300 test wickets, – at the same time bowling a 140KMH – fielding at second slip and getting catches, he is just one of the great cricketers of all time. No doubt! And the winner, as far as I am concerned.”

Final list of winners:

GOAT Batsman: Sachin Tendulkar

GOAT Bowler: Muttiah Muralitharan

GOAT Captain: Steve Waugh

GOAT All-rounder: Jacques Kallis