Matthew Hayden supports Steve Smith in the DRS incident

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Matthew Hayden supports Steve Smith in the DRS incident

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SportsCafe Desk


As a player, Matthew Hayden was an intimidating batsman whose records in the sub-continent speaks volumes of his calibre. In the wake of DRS-gate, Hayden has come out in support of Steve Smith stating that 15 seconds is not enough time to get a 'message across and back from the dressing room'.

Matthew Hayden will always be remembered as one of the most accomplished opening batsmen in the history of the game. In 103 Tests, Hayden accumulated  8,625 runs at an average of  50.73, demolishing most bowling attacks on his day.

“I take Smith for his word. I believe what he said. Fifteen seconds is not enough to get a message across and back from the dressing room. He looked at his watch, waited for 15 seconds, and said, “Look, it is over so quickly, in no time!” Hayden told The Hindu.

Leave it all on the pitch:-

Given the temperamental nature of the series so far, Hayden has suggested that what happens on the field, should stay on the field, given that things tend to get blown out of proportion, once they cross the playing arena. “Once you take it outside the playing arena, then the media gets involved, the Boards come into the picture, everything gets magnified.”

Though Hayden himself was known to have a reputation for sledging, he has justified his actions by calling it a universal phenomenon, saying, “All teams sledge. And if you ask me, verbal sledging is only 10 per cent of the total package. Just look at a scenario where the batsman is under no pressure. Whatever words you say to him would hardly matter to him. He would just ignore them.”

He even added that verbal sledging is only a small part of the whole act.  “Unless you create the stress, this includes the way you go about things on the field, how aggressive your body language is, verbal sledging has little value. Some people might disagree with me but I can tell you from experience that this is true.”

In praise of the BCCI and CA:-

Hayden believes that the infamous monkey gate incident in the 2008 series Down Under has brought The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Cricket Australia (CA) closer, ever since. “That series in 2008 actually brought the two Boards, India and Australia, closer. There is a lot more trust between them now.”

He even congratulated the two boards for the way they handled the recent DRS controversy and quickly called a truce in the incident. “I think the two Boards acted well to nip the issue in the bud. The ICC and the match referee too, handled the matter capably. And we could see the effect of that today, there were no incidents here."

When asked to compare R. Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh, Hayden said it’s a hard thing to do, owing to their different styles of bowling.  “It’s hard to do that. Their styles are different, their methods are different. Today, batsmen are more expansive, spinners tend to bowl flatter. I would not rate one over the other.”

Finally, Hayden also acknowledged and praised the impact that S.Sriram has had on the Australian team, as their spin bowling coach.

“He has expertise and knowledge of the local conditions that is always welcome.”

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