Aggression is the success formula for Hayden

Published: Sunday, September 26, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Australian opening batsman, Matthew Hayden on Sunday said that he and his opening partner Justin Langer's aggressive mind-set has helped them to be one of the most respected opening pair in Test cricket in recent times.

"I think both of us have this hunger for runs which is very important even while playing Test cricket. I particularly carry the aggressive mind-set of One-day cricket into the Test matches so that getting a big partnership in quick time helps the cause of the team," the solidly built Queenslander said on Sunday.

Speaking about the forthcoming Test series, Hayden said, "It will be a very tough and interesting series as both the teams have some exciting batsmen and a few world class bowlers in their ranks".

"The Indian batting line-up is quite impressive and I rate V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid as most dangerous of the Indian batsmen as they have done well against us in the past.

They also have Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly who can play vital roles on Indian pitches," he added.

"We know what Laxman is capable of and we also know 'The Wall' (Dravid) is a solid player with very good technique. The Indian spinners Kumble and Harbhajan have troubled us time and again and all in all it will be tough and interesting series," Hayden, who has accumulated over 1000 runs from seven Test matches for an incredible average of 83.33, said.

"Our (opening batsmen's) main task would be to give a solid start at a very short time and put pressure on the opposition from the word go," he added.

"Unlike Rahul (Dravid), I take a lot of risks as I play the sweep shot quite early as I always keep a set target to achieve," Hayden said.

Hayden, who denied making comments that the Asian cricketers were very selfish to the Australian media recently, said he was totally misquoted.

"I never made such a remark. All I said was that the approach to One-day cricket has changed. Initially, the Sri Lankans succeeded by scoring quickly in the first 15 overs. Then Dean Jones of Australia had his own innovative way of batting in One-dayers but now things have changed completely and there is no room for experimenting individual ideas," he added.

Langer said it has been a bit of a coincidence that he and Hayden have become a successful opening pair for the Australians.

"It is really a coincidence that we are opening together. In fact, we compliment each other well and have perfect understanding as we have been laying together for some time," Langer said.

When asked what kind of preparations he had made coming into this series, Langer said, "I have made quite interesting preparations coming into this series but the key to success is that whoever adjusts to the Indian climate and pitches early will make a mark".

"We should get acclimatised to the heat and the turning pitches and one has to be on his toes all the time and we will have to do really well this time around (during their last tour the Aussies lost the series 1-2) as the expectations back home are really very high," Langer added.

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