Rating the Australian ODI captains in the last two decades
Australia have been the most dominant side in one-day international cricket for the last two decades. They won four out of the last five World Cups and for a long time during the past two decades, the ODI team simply looked unbeatable.
Although many argue that some of the Australian teams were so strong that anybody could have led them to glory, it needs to be pointed out that it is a pretty blithe assertion. To lead a bunch of gifted cricketers, you need a gifted captain and great cricketers won’t just listen to ‘anyone’. So here is an evaluation of the principal Australian ODI skippers of the past 20 years.
#1 Steve Waugh (1997-2002) - 8/10
Steve Waugh took over the ODI captaincy from Mark Taylor in 1997 and was responsible for laying the foundation of unchallenged Australian dominance in ODI cricket over the greater part of the next decade.
Waugh had to rebuild the team after Taylor and Ian Healy were dropped from the side. However, in Adam Gilchrist, he found a player who replaced both and formed a devastating opening partnership with Mark Waugh.
His greatest triumph was the lifting the 1999 World Cup in England. Waugh shone in the tournament both as a batsman and captain and played one of the greatest World Cup innings, against South Africa, to take his side to the semi-final.
Waugh lost the captaincy after he was dropped following the team’s poor show in the home tri-series involving New Zealand and South Africa in 2001-02. He captained Australia in 106 ODIs and won 67 of them, with an excellent win rate of 65.23%.