AUSTIN Waugh just keeps raising our hopes.
The son of former Australian captain Steve Waugh proved once again he’s going the right way about living up to his famous pedigree with an impressive outing for the Australian Under-19 side against Sri Lanka in a one-day match on Tuesday.
In the final instalment of the three-game series, tied at one-all, Waugh came in at number five — the position his father occupied for much of his Test career — with the score at 3/137 and a tick under 18 overs remaining.
He started slowly, struggling to rotate the strike as opener Jack Edwards (95) then captain Will Sutherland (49) did the bulk of the scoring. But the teenager found his groove as the innings drew to a close, hitting two fours and pumping a six over long-on to finish unbeaten on 40 from 54 balls.
Waugh’s ability to not get flustered when runs were hard to come by and play a rash shot is a positive sign. He had the temperament to know he could make up ground later in his knock and he did just that, showing great match awareness to help the Aussies reach 7/251 after 50 overs.
Waugh’s innings comes off the back of his 33 in game two of the series, which the Aussies lost by eight runs. He also picked up two wickets in that match with his medium pacers.
The Waugh name may be as much a burden as it is a blessing for the talented right-hander as he progresses on a journey he hopes will one day lead him to the heights his father reached.
But his past two showings — to go with what we’ve seen of him previously — prove the hype that’s followed him during his ascent through state and national team pathways is justified.
In December Waugh turned heads when playing in a Big Bash League curtain-raiser designed to showcase some of the best young talent in the country.
He came to the crease under pressure at third drop but what he managed to do off the final ball of the 16th over from Bradley Hope was nothing short of freakish.
A short ball bounced well over the youngster’s head, but he used a vertical bat to miraculously smash it over the long off fence for six.
“It was like he was serving a tennis ball,” one commentator said.
“I don’t know how to describe the way he played that shot,” another added. “That was sensational timing from Austin Waugh. That was an absolute ripping six.
“Look at where he’s hit that — that’s three or four inches over his head.”
Cricket Australia’s pathways manager Graham Manou laughed the first time he saw Austin Waugh play cricket because the similarities with his famous father were so striking.
“It was very scary, the first time I saw him, his mannerisms,” Manou said. “Genetically, I suppose you’d expect (it) but it’s like he’s watched a tape of his old man for years. They’re very, very similar.”
The teenager showed his class at the Under-17 National Championships in October. He top-scored for NSW Metro in the final with 122 off 136 balls, a knock which included four fours and four sixes.
He turned heads throughout the tournament, scoring 372 runs at an average of 74.4. Only Queensland’s Angus Lovell — who hit two centuries and three half centuries at 80.17 — outscored him.
SOURCE: newsnow sport