Five of the best
119 v India, 1st Test, Mumbai, 2001
This is the innings that put Hayden on the road to greatness. After battling in 13 Tests over seven years, he arrived in India well prepared and quickly started to dominate the attack. Australia were 5 for 99 when Hayden and Gilchrist combined for a 197-run stand that set up the 10-wicket win. Hayden's sweeping on the tour was his trademark and his power was incredible - almost 80% of his runs came in boundaries in this display. He would finish the three-match tour with his first double-century and 549 runs for the series.
197 & 103 v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2002-03
It wasn't long before Nasser Hussain wished he'd decided to bat. By stumps on the first day Australia were 2 for 364, with Hayden unbeaten on 186. The breakthrough came early on the second morning, but Hayden wasn't finished, deflating the visitors further with a swift century in the next innings, the first of two occasions in which he brought up twin hundreds. Fortunately for England, who lost by 384 runs, it was the end of Hayden's streak of seven centuries in ten games.
380 v Zimbabwe, 1st Test, Perth, 2003-04
Against anyone else this would be Hayden's defining display, but because it was Zimbabwe the status of the world record was downgraded. Over almost two days he showed his might against the game's minnows to the extent where the bowlers feared for their safety. There were 38 fours, 11 sixes, a strike-rate of 86.95 and no reprieve for the visitors until he had passed Brian Lara's 375. Lara appropriately reclaimed the mark in 2004 with 400 against England.
119 v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sharjah, 2002
Hit in the head early by Shoaib Akhtar, Hayden recovered and taunted the bowler by asking "is that all you've got?" Mostly he showed his physical strength in temperatures that pushed the half-century mark and forced some of the bowlers to deliver one-over spells. When he was ninth-out he had batted for 431 minutes; nobody else passed 50 in the game and he outscored Pakistan, who fell for 59 and 53. Akhtar was near his peak that year, but Hayden was better.
130 v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Galle, 2004
Ricky Ponting's start to the captaincy was not going so well with Australia facing a 161-run deficit after the first innings. By the time Hayden was out they had a lead of 84 and Damien Martyn and Darren Lehmann ensured Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill had enough runs to bowl at. Once again Hayden had shown his versatility, seeing off the threats of Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, and raised another century at a time when he was the most productive batsman in the game.