Hayden completes a hundred
Matthew Hayden, one of the fiercest competitors in Australia's winning machine, will reach a new landmark at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. Hayden will become the 11th Australian player - the 47th overall - to reach 100 Tests, a feat that would have looked near-impossible before the tour of India in 2000-01: in 12 Tests up until that point he had only one hundred, and a not-so-impressive average of 24.36.
In India, Hayden's domineering persona came to the fore, with 549 runs at 109.80 in the three-Test series, and he has been a regular in Australia's XI ever since. Hayden has been the leading run-scorer in Tests since the start of that series, with 7948 runs at 56.36, just 37 ahead of team-mate Ricky Ponting, whose runs have come at a higher average of 61.32. From February 2001 to December 31, 2004, Hayden was the only batsman averaging over 70 (among batsmen with more than 500 runs in the period). He was not as dominant in the years that followed, but effective enough to bring victories consistently for Australia. Besides his average, Hayden also improved his strike-rate over the years.
|Period||Matches||Runs||Average||Strike-rate||100/50||March 4, 1994 - January 31 2001||13||536||24.36||47.26||1/2||February 1, 2001 - December 31, 2003||36||3855||72.73||66.37||16/11||January 1, 2004 - November 27, 2008||50||4093||46.51||57.24||13/16|
Hayden's 8484 runs have all come as an opening batsman, making him the second-leading run-getter in that position after Sunil Gavaskar. Among opening batsmen with over 2000 runs, Hayden and Graeme Smith are the only two left-handers to average over 50.
Hayden's 5069 runs in home Tests have come at an average in excess of 60 - among Australian batsman with 2500 home runs, only Don Bradman and Ricky Ponting fare better. Twenty-one of Hayden's 30 centuries have come at home - the most for any batsman. However, Hayden's record is not as impressive at away venues: the only countries where he averages over 50 are India, largely due to his 2000-01 success, and West Indies.
Hayden has forged successful partnerships with the two top-order batsman he's played alongside for the majority of his career, Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting. He and Langer are only the second pair to aggregate 6000 runs - the two have clocked up 5655 runs as openers - and Hayden could become the first batsman to share 5000 runs with two partners if he and Ponting score 236 before either quits Test cricket. After Hayden and Langer, the second-most prolific pair comprising two-handers is Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Strauss, who have 2670 runs from 52 innings.
|Partner||Innings||Partnership runs||Average per dismissal||100/50|
Hayden has lost only 16 Tests so far in his career, and among players with 99 Tests or more, only Ricky Ponting has a better win-loss ratio. Hayden's average in defeats slips to 32.62 from an impressive 56.11 in matches won, and is a high 60 in draws. In 44 away games, his average is more consistent: 40.58 in 26 wins and 39.41 in 12 losses. His record does not fluctuate much between the first and second innings for his team, though he fares better in the first and third innings of a game than the second and fourth, a difference that is more prominent in away Tests. (Click here for his career batting summary.)
Hayden also performs much better when not taking first strike in an innings.
His best years with the bat coincided with Steve Waugh's captaincy.
Hayden, on an average, converts nearly every second 50-plus score into a hundred. While Ponting tends to get dismissed more between the 50-89 mark, his seven not-out scores over 100 boosts his average, which is nearly five runs more than Hayden's 52.04.
|200 and above||1.13||1.92|
Hayden has been run out 11 times in his career; Allan Border holds the record with 12 (156 Tests). Ponting is one behind on the run-out count, and has been bowled and leg-before more often than Hayden. While more than 65% of Hayden's dismissals have come about due to catches, Ponting has been more prone to being stumped. Hayden has only been stumped once, preferring the horizontal shots, especially the sweep, over stepping out against spinners. The sweep has served Hayden well in the subcontinent; he is the second-highest run-getter in Tests in Asia. Border heads a top five consisting of left-handers, followed by Ponting.
|Mode of dismissal||Hayden||Ponting|
|Caught by fielder||51.53||40.66|
|Caught by wicketkeeper||13.50||17.03|
Mathew Varghese is sub-editor (stats) at Cricinfo