Australian opener Matthew Hayden announced retirement from international cricket this week. A prolific run getter for his team, Hayden had been going through a lean phase in his career in the past few months. His performance against India and South Africa was not at par with his standards and might have forced him to consider retirement.
Matthew Hayden’s more often than not intimidated the opposition’s bowling attack with his towering personality. A left hand batsman ‘Haydos‘ as he was popularly called by his teammates proved to be a reliable opening batsman in both forms of the game. Along with Justin Langer he featured in many century partnerships, partnerships which won the side many matches and made the Australian side an ‘invincible juggernaut‘!
His Goliath like stature enabled him to make good use of the crease. He could power the ball to any part of the field without much effort. Despite being an effective opener, more often than not, his innings was overshadowed by his partner Gilchrist’s blitzkrieg. Matthew Hayden not only played strokes from the crease, he could also walk down the wicket to the bowlers and clear the boundary with ease.
Hayden made a mark in the international scene in Australia’s tour of India in which he amassed runs in plenty. His sweep shots brought headache to the Indian spinners who found it difficult to mesmerize this south paw. He scored big centuries in different parts of the world against oppositions such as England. His temperament to play long innings and concentrate hard came in handy in his test career. A good fielder in the slip cordon, Hayden proved to be a belligerent batsman in the one day format of the game too. Along with Adam Gilchrist, he scored tons of runs as an opener. It had become customary to watch a batsman getting out ‘caught Hayden bowled McGrath’!
Not only was he in news for his on the field endeavors, his off the field antiques and controversies too brought him considerable limelight. He was an integral part of the near invincible squad comprising the likes of Warne, McGrath and Gilchrist which might have made the going a little easy for him as a player. But nevertheless he did score runs when the team needed it and for the same reason, his absence would be felt for sure in the side.