On this day in 2004: Steve Waugh bids adieu to Test cricket


Having an epoch-making farewell featuring all the glimpses of the heroics being performed by an individual repeatedly in his overall career does sound unreal. But when Australia’s Steve Waugh decided to hang up his boots, his farewell had shaped something significantly similar to what is mentioned above.

It was a momentous India’s 2003-04 Test tour of Australia when Steve Waugh took a call on his splendid yet adhesive international career spanning from 1985-2004. The series was a breathtaking affair where both teams were competing with each other inch by inch.

How it happened

The first Test at Brisbane was a rain-affected game that resulted in a draw. The iconic second Test at the Adelaide Oval gave India a commanding win. But being invincibles, the Australians made a staggering comeback in the third Test, squaring the winning tally of 1-1 in the series. With the series being nicely poised between both teams, the fourth Test at Sydney (Steve Waugh’s home ground) was all set to create some history.

Electing to bat first, India posted a stupendous total of 705-7 in their first innings which included Sachin Tendulkar’s 241* and VVS Laxman’s 178. Australia, in response, couldn’t come close to India’s total with a first innings score of 474. With a lead of over 200 runs, the visitors, in their second innings, scored 211-2 before setting Australia a target of 443 with just over a day’s time left in the Test.

A Waugh Special

With a scoreline of 170-3 and with more than 47 overs of play left, the stage was all set for Waugh to show his resilience in the final innings of his international career. He began by leg-glancing a full pitched delivery towards the mid-wicket for a boundary. Soon after Australia reached into a position of well-being, Waugh began to play aggressively and brought up his 50th Test fifty. His innings of 80 from 159 deliveries, also his highest Test score of that season, comprised 15 boundaries.

Steve Waugh not only finished his career with most hundreds (24) at the no.5 position but also became the most capped Test cricketer (168) of that time.