Hayden has been one of the most consistent batsmen for Australia in all formats of the game. He scored 8625 test runs, 6133 ODI runs and 308 international T20 runs. He played his last ODI and Test match in 2009 and 2008 respectively. He once broke Brian Lara's record of the maximum number of runs (375) in a single Test innings when he scored 380 runs against Zimbabwe. But his record did not last long as Brian Lara soon scored 400 runs against England. He scored more than 1000 runs in a calendar year for 5 consecutive years demonstrating his consistency in the game.
He played an important role in the Test matches for Australia partnering Justin Langer for the opening slot, which they had made it their own after good performances under the baggy green. They had a great sense of understanding, which only helped the Australian team. They scored runs at a brisk rate, which give their bowlers more time in their hand – to dismiss their opponents and win the game. Hence, he was a very important player, when the Australian team were ruling world cricket.
In the ODI arena as well, Hayden left a stamp of class in the World Cup matches that he played apart from other tournaments. He was a winning member of the Australian side, when they won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007. Winning a World Cup medal must have been his most cherished moment in international career.
Hayden and Adam Gilchrist's opening pair in the ODI's amassed 5372 runs, making their pair the second best opening partnership after Ganguly and Tendulkar. Hayden also had an uncanny knack of scoring big hundreds. He has scored 30 Test centuries in his illustrious career, making him the ninth player with most number of centuries in test match history.
As far as his batting was concerned, he had the ability to take the leather off the ball and he demonstrated his power against bowlers lofting them all around the park with ease. He had all the shots in the book such as square cut, straight drives, pull shot, you name it and he has been a great exponent of that shot. But, one shot , which he had mastered was the sweep shot. He would go on his knees and belt the ball with precision splitting open the gaps. It was this shot, which helped him succeed and dominate spinners in the sub-continent. He was never bogged down by any bowler.
His competitive nature was for everyone to see. He was someone who never took any non-sense from his opponents. If a bowler stared at him, he would stare back at and would not mind giving him a mouthful. Just to rub salt into the wounds, he would charge the bowler and send the ball to the fence and make the bowler look stupid after his stare. He will be remembered by many Indian fans for his altercation with Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth on many counts. But, one has to say that it was Hayden who had the final laugh.
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