Critics Corner.

Opinions. And LOTS of them.

Why is Hayden not playing?

Posted by Sports Snob on October 5, 2006


Over the years, Australia’s dominance in the one-day game has been built on the performances of Gilchrist, Ponting and the other bits and pieces players and that man, McGrath. But the role of one man is under-appreciated in the one-day format.

Australia owes a lot to Matthew Hayden. Very few countries have had openers that could play both forms of the game and play this well. His pace does not match the Gilchrist’s and he isn’t as flamboyant as Ponting is. But he is strong and powerful, he is dogged and above all, he is effective.

His performance in the DLF Cup was not exceptional but he showed us that he is capable of staying there and laying the foundation for big scores. He might start off playing only about as fast as he does in the test game but once in the groove, he is capable of taking apart any attack.

Australia did a good thing in trying him during the tournament in Malaysia (I don’t think they had too many choices!!). They should play him in the Champions Trophy. the World Cup in West Indies will be played on small grounds and Hayden is very capable of handling the spinners on the slow turners. And he is more than capoable of clearing the boundaries in those grounds.

The booming cover-drives, the swivel hook and pull and the powerful push past the bowler, he is a sight to watch when in form! I hope Austalia plays him in its world Cup team as Gillie’s opening partner. And if those two get going, there can be no stopping the Aussie juggernaut.



6 Responses to “Why is Hayden not playing?”

  1. Ricky said

    I think Australia is trying to look towards future. They don’t have the mentality of Asian teams where you persist with the player just because he has been good in the past. Although, India is trying to change that mentality, again under the leadership of an Australian. Hayden should be persisted but only if there is no one better than him left out. I think guys like Katich also need their due chances.

  2. Z said

    I think Hayden is still much better than the rest. I would attribute his exclusion from the team as an after effect of the Ashes. But guys like Katich and Watson might just keep Hayden out of the squad.

  3. Ravi said

    Haydens strenght lay in his aggression and intimidation of the opposition bowlers. his subdued nature post-Ashes has been out of character and dilutes the effect of his batting. the same way a more sedate Tendulkar wouldnt invoke fear into the opposition bowling, Hayden at his pomp was more effective than a sedate version on view right now.

  4. @ Ricky: I don’t recommend looking backwards or playing a player because of good past records. But, I think it is unfair to cut down on a player’s career to experiment (and in this case no one else seems as good in any case). But Hayden’s recent performaces indicate that he still has it in him to play at this level

  5. @ Ravi: Yes, Hayden was more effective in the past than now but I think even on current form, he is better than many of the people who are playing ahead of him.

  6. The Enigma said

    Hayden deserves to open in place of Katich atm. No doubt about that. He is probably the best ODI opener in the country, followed by a distant Jaques. It’s a travesty that they are persisting with Katich. He simply is not going to cut in ODIs anytime soon. I think the Champions Trophy will be his last ODI outing in national colours.

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