Sydney - Steve Waugh on Friday hit back atShane Warne after he reignited a long-running feud between two of Australia'sgreatest players, saying he was doing his job as captain when he dropped
Earlier this week, Warne blasted his formerteammate and skipper as "the most selfish cricketer I've playedwith", still holding a grudge after Waugh axed him for the final Test on atour of the West Indies 17 years ago, a game Australia won.
It sparked a backlash against Warne onsocial media with Waugh issuing a short statement the following day that said:"I'm not justifying his comments with an answer."
But he opened up on Friday, explaining thedecision to drop Warne was tough but part of his job as Australian captain.
"To be fair, not only Shane, anyplayer I had to tell was dropped wasn't easy," he told Triple M commercialradio.
"It wasn't easy telling Adam Dale hewas dropped for a Test match or Greg Blewett. There were a number of players Ihad to tell they weren't playing, Andy Bichel.
"As a captain that is the hardestthing to do. But it's also why you're captain, because people expect you tomake the tough decisions for the benefit of the team.
"You have got to do that at times andyou have got to be prepared not to be liked by everyone."
Warne, speaking on an episode of reality TVshow "I'm a Celebrity. Get Me Out of Here", on which he is acontestant, said he was "really disappointed" at the decision to drophim and he felt like Waugh was making him "a scapegoat".
"I don't like Steve Waugh for a lot ofother reasons, but that was the reason," he said on why they fell out.
Waugh, who played 168 Tests, 57 as captain,said a key lesson he learned as captain was to take risks and follow his gutfeeling.
"I guess the main thing as a captainand leader, as long as people respect your decision that is all you canask," he said.
"You have got to take a bit of a risksometimes. It's not always the obvious thing to do.
"Sometimes it can be gut feel, it canbe based on facts... at the end of the day you are a leader because peopleexpect you to make a choice."
Waugh has previously admitted the decisionto dump Warne cost him his friendship with the spin king, but in his book"The Meaning of Luck" said it helped shape and define him as acaptain.