Former captain snubbed in greatest player list August 31, 2007

Warne rates Waugh at 26th

Cricinfo staff



National hero: Shane Warne doesn't agree with the high praise of Steve Waugh © Getty Images

Shane Warne has ranked Steve Waugh at No. 26 on his list of 50 greatest cricketers because he was a "match-saver rather than a match-winner". Darren Lehmann, David Boon, Brett Lee and Stephen Fleming were higher than Waugh as Warne revealed players 21 to 30 in his column in the Times.

Waugh was named Australia's captain ahead of Warne in 1999 and one of the legspinner's major disappointments in a record-breaking career was not leading his country in Tests. However, Waugh's 168 matches and 10,927 runs - the fourth highest of all-time - didn't convince Warne to place him higher.

"This may raise a few eyebrows," Warne wrote. "Yes, he [Waugh] scored a lot of runs, but to me he was a match-saver rather than a match-winner. That is why he is not higher.

"There were also times when he struggled against the short ball. But he had good all-round capabilities and was always reliable in the gully."

Waugh won a record 41 Tests as captain but Warne downplayed the achievement. "Mark Taylor handed him a wonderful team," he wrote.

Lehmann averaged 44.95 in 27 Tests and his work against the slow bowlers impressed Warne. "'Boof' was one of the hardest batsmen for spinners because he was unorthodox and had a wonderfully light touch," Warne wrote. "He had the same qualities as Brian Lara in his pomp, hitting brilliantly square of the wicket ... It was a shame that he did not play more Tests."

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