Hayden helps Australia battle back

Published: Saturday, January 26, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Matthew Hayden carfted a fine century as Australia reached a comfortable 225/2 in reply to India's 526 on day three of their fourth and final Test at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

Hayden (103) and Phil Jaques (60) gave Australia a solid start with 159-run stand in 53 overs.

Jaques left in the second over after lunch, bowled trying to swing an Anil Kumble leg-break over mid-wicket, and Hayden went 11 overs later, losing his off stump to a superb Ishant in-swinger.

Ricky Ponting (28 not out) and Michael Hussey (20 not out) were at the crease at tea on a dry, wearing pitch

Resuming at the overnight score of 62/0, Aussie openers added further 96 off 30 overs in the first session.

Hayden was aggressive in his approach from the word go. His on-driven six off Kumble was a treat to watch. Haydos' majestic 103 off 200 balls was studded with 10 boundaries. This burly batsman from Queensland has amassed 410 runs at an awesome average of 82 in this series. He made 124 and 47 in Melbourne and 13 and 123 in Sydney, and he missed the Perth Test with a strained hamstring.

Hayden moved into sixth position on the list of Test centurymakers, behind Tendulkar (39 in 146 Tests), Gavaskar (34 in 125), Brian Lara (34 in 131), Ponting (33 in 116) and Steve Waugh (32 in 168), and immediately ahead of Don Bradman (29 in 52), Jacques Kallis (29 in 114), Allan Border (27 in 156) and Garry Sobers (26 in 93).

This Adelaide century was Hayden's sixth in 14 Tests against India - equalling David Boon's record of six in 11 Tests against India. And he is now Australia's leading run-getter against India - 1654 at an average of 66.16.

Jaques (159-ball 60, 3X4s), on the other hand, played a more sedate innings, was content with singles and twos. This innings will do him a world of good to his confidence after his double failure (eight and 16) in Perth. He made 66 and 51 in Melbourne and 0 and 42 in Sydney.

The Hayden-Jaques partnership was the highest for the first wicket in nine Australia-India Tests at Adelaide Oval.

The previous best was 99 by Bob Simpson and Bill Lawry in 1967-68 (and India's best remains the 95 scored by Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth in 1986-87).

The highest opening stand in 72 Australia-India Tests remains 217 by Boon and Geoff Marsh in Sydney in 1985-86.

Tourists sorely missed their ace paceman RP, who is down with hamstring strain.


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