Steve Waugh may be winning the ‘psychological war’ against South Africa but he is also protecting himself against further attacks on his own form by hypocritically refusing to play against South Africa for New South Wales.
Waugh travelled around England during the Ashes tour six months ago bemoaning the refusal of English county sides to play their best players against the tourists.
The Australian captain accused the English county sides of running scared and said that English cricket would never improve unless its players challenged themselves and attempted to improve their game against the very best.
He also said it was difficult for his team to prepare for a Test series when they could only face mediocre opposition in warm-up matches. It’s one rule for the Aussies, it seems, and another for everyone else.
After scoring just 99 runs in the first four Tests of the summer at an average of 16.5, there could hardly be a stronger case for the national captain to find some form against a strong bowling attack.
Instead, he says he needs a rest.
Three other current Test players are also resting; they are Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Mark Waugh.
Four other NSW 1st XI players are missing from the current line-up including captain Shane Lee (knee), fast bowler Nathan Bracken (back) and opening batsman Michael Slater (ankle) through injuries. Fast bowler Stuart Clark is also resting.
Next time Australia encounter weak opposition on the tour they would be well advised to remember their own approach to touring matches when at home.
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