WC 2003 - Hayden throws in a word of caution for Aussie teammates

Published: Monday, March 10, 2003, 20:13 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: Australian opener Matthew Hayden believes his team must adjust the batting strategy to counter the slow wicket against New Zealand in the World Cup Super Sixes match on Tuesday.The last time the world champions played at the St George's Park they were given a scare by England, slipping to 46 for 4 and then 135 for 8 before Michael Bevan and an inspired Andy Bichel fashioned a two-wicket win.Hayden said the team would have learnt its lessons from that encounter."New Zealand is a side which tends to take the pace off the ball which is a threat to us," the big Queenslander told SAPA news agency."We're playing in conditions which are slow and low as we saw against England so we are going to have to be on top of our game."We went out with a very positive strategy against England to chase down that total as quickly as we could, not from an arrogant point of view, but more from a body language point of view."On slow wickets where you're chasing small totals you tend to get into a position where you can get bogged down and not play your natural game.But I guess we were a little bit impatient - it was a strategy that didn't work and we'll learn from it and play better this time."Hayden said Australians were a champion side capable of adapting its game to suit the conditions, just as it had done at the World Cup so far where it has won seven matches in a row."Some conditions don't suit the kind of batting we like to play and it's the same with the bowling side simply because the conditions are quite slow and when you've got a great fast bowling attack, it tends to take the edge off them," he said."It may help the slower Kiwi bowlers but if we can keep wickets in hand, I believe we've got an equally good counter-attack."Australia may have already qualified for the semi-finals, but it is looking to build on the world record of 13 successive One-day wins.Hayden acknowledged that New Zealand would be a tough challenge."They've played good tournament cricket," he said. "We were a bit hurt by losing the One-day series to them at home, but it's all about intensity and purpose for us and it starts on Tuesday."New Zealand won three out of four Limited Overs matches two seasons ago to prevent the world champions from reaching the finals of a triangular series in Australia.Meanwhile, Australian physiotherapist Errol Alcott confirmed that all-rounder Andrew Symonds would miss his second match in a row because of groin injury."Andrew's groin is not sore and he increased his workload today (Monday), but we are going to hold him back from Tuesday's game," Alcott said."It's still too early to subject him to the strain and stress of a One-day game and working towards getting him ready for Saturday's Super Six game against Kenya."Copyright AFP 2001


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