हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

A phenomenal achievement

Written by: Sajith Balakrishnan
Published: Sunday, October 12, 2003, 17:53 [IST]
 
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Bangalore: Matthew Lawrence Hayden is on a roll. This burly left-handed Queenslander went on a rampage at the WACA ground in Perth against a hapless Zimbabwe attack thereby re-writing cricket history. It's been a long walk for Hayden who was wandering in the wilderness for around five years since making his Test debut. Rejected at one stage even by the Australian Cricket Academy in his earlier days, he strode like a colossus breaking Lara's decade-long record for highest individual score by making 380. Hayden's fate changed about two years ago when he went to strange methods to prepare for Australia's tour of India by requesting preparation of a turning pitch at Queensland's Allan Border Field. He batted there for hours for which rich dividends came in the form of 549 runs, in the three-Test series that followed. His batting average which never went beyond 35 stood at a staggering 110 at the end of that series were he notched up a double hundred in addition to tBangalore: Matthew Lawrence Hayden is on a roll. This burly left-handed Queenslander went on a rampage at the WACA ground in Perth against a hapless Zimbabwe attack thereby re-writing cricket history.

It's been a long walk for Hayden who was wandering in the wilderness for around five years since making his Test debut. Rejected at one stage even by the Australian Cricket Academy in his earlier days, he strode like a colossus breaking Lara's decade-long record for highest individual score by making 380.

Hayden's fate changed about two years ago when he went to strange methods to prepare for Australia's tour of India by requesting preparation of a turning pitch at Queensland's Allan Border Field. He batted there for hours for which rich dividends came in the form of 549 runs, in the three-Test series that followed.

His batting average which never went beyond 35 stood at a staggering 110 at the end of that series were he notched up a double hundred in addition to two centuries. That series was decisive in his career. He has never looked back since.

Along with fellow southpaw Justin Langer, Hayden has forged a formidable opening combination and within a short span they have raked up the most number of double- hundred partnerships. Fitness and durability has been his forte. At the top of the order, he is as solid as a rock.

He took a leaf out of his skipper Steve Waugh's book while displaying steely resolve and refusal to accept failure. Kudos to the selectors as well as the team think-tank in persisting with him.

Several Australians came close to it, including his illustrious compatriot Mark Taylor who was sitting in the hallowed box of Channel Nine when Hayden achieved the feat. In fact, four years ago in Pakistan, Taylor declared the innings when he equaled Sir Don Bradman's and Australian best of 334 placing team above himself.

Lara was candid while admitting that he never expected Hayden to surpass him, saying he thought Sachin or Chris Gayle had a better chance of doing the same.

On reaching the pinnacle of glory, Hayden said that he couldn't believe it. Such is his modesty. "I am thrilled to wear the baggy green cap," says Hayden about that baggy green cap which symbolizes true Australian spirit. That is Hayden for you, the ever under-estimated hero, totally unassuming, for he prefers his bat to do the talking.wo centuries. That series was decisive in his career. He has never looked back since. Along with fellow southpaw Justin Langer, Hayden has forged a formidable opening combination and within a short span they have raked up the most number of double- hundred partnerships. Fitness and durability has been his forte. At the top of the order, he is as solid as a rock. He took a leaf out of his skipper Steve Waugh's book while displaying steely resolve and refusal to accept failure. Kudos to the selectors as well as the team think-tank in persisting with him. Several Australians came close to it, including his illustrious compatriot Mark Taylor who was sitting in the hallowed box of Channel Nine when Hayden achieved the feat. In fact, four years ago in Pakistan, Taylor declared the innings when he equaled Sir Don Bradman's and Australian best of 334 placing team above himself. Lara was candid while admitting that he never expected Hayden to surpass him, saying he thought Sachin or Chris Gayle had a better chance of doing the same. On reaching the pinnacle of glory, Hayden said that he couldn't believe it. Such is his modesty. "I am thrilled to wear the baggy green cap," says Hayden about that baggy green cap which symbolizes true Australian spirit. That is Hayden for you, the ever under-estimated hero, totally unassuming, for he prefers his bat to do the talking.

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