Matthew Hayden retires

Numbers that stand tall

Stats analysis of Matthew Hayden's career

S Rajesh

January 13, 2009

Text size: A | A

A batting average of 50 is generally considered the benchmark for greatness, and Matthew Hayden finished his Test career just above that mark. Despite a slump that reduced that average by nearly three runs in four months, Hayden still ended with a mean of 50.73, making him one of six Australians to score more than 5000 Test runs at a 50-plus average. In terms of aggregate, his 8625 is in fourth position, bettered only by Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and Allan Border.

The start and end to his career were similar - he averaged around 24 in his first 13 and last nine Tests - but in between he was amazingly prolific, with 29 centuries in 145 innings, and an outstanding average of more than 58.

Hayden's career in three parts
Period Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
First 13 Tests 22 536 24.36 1/ 2
Next 81 Tests 145 7706 58.37 29/ 25
Last nine Tests 17 383 23.93 0/ 2
Career 184 8625 50.73 30/ 29

Hayden's remarkable run began in that unforgettable tour of India, when he scored 549 and averaged 109.80. Since then, his year-end average didn't dip below 43 for seven successive years, before dipping to 32.47 in 2008. During this seven-year period, from February 2001 to January 2008, he was the leading run-scorer in Test cricket, with 7706 runs in 81 matches. The average, at 58.37, wasn't bad either.

Best batsmen between Feb 1, 2001 and Jan 31, 2008 (at least 3000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Jacques Kallis 69 6729 67.96 22/ 34
Ricky Ponting 77 7301 64.04 27/ 27
Mohammad Yousuf 52 5034 63.72 18/ 17
Kumar Sangakkara 65 5714 59.52 16/ 22
Brian Lara 56 5820 58.78 19/ 18
Matthew Hayden 81 7706 58.37 29/ 25

His imposing presence and sheer aggression at the crease were unique, but Hayden backed his style with plenty of substance. Many of his colleagues are calling him Australia's greatest opener, and while that might be arguable, Hayden has the numbers to support that argument. Among Australian openers who scored at least 2500 runs, only one - Bob Simpson - had a higher average. Critics might question the quality of bowling attacks around the world, but Hayden did the job in most conditions, against most opposition line-ups. His average dipped below 40 against only one team - New Zealand - though he did have his problems tackling the conditions in South Africa and England. (Click here for his career summary.)

Leading Australian openers (at least 2500 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Bob Simpson 38 3664 55.51 8/ 19
Matthew Hayden 103 8625 50.73 30/ 29
Justin Langer 65 5112 48.22 16/ 18
Bill Lawry 67 5234 47.15 13/ 27
Arthur Morris 45 3381 45.68 11/ 12
David Boon 36 2614 45.06 8/ 10
Mark Taylor 104 7525 43.49 19/ 40
Michael Slater 74 5312 42.83 14/ 21

Increase the cut-off to 5000 runs, and throw open the competition to openers from all teams, and Hayden's numbers still compare favourably - he is one of only six openers to score more than 5000 runs and average more than 50.

Leading openers in world cricket (at least 5000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Len Hutton 76 6721 56.47 19/ 31
Jack Hobbs 58 5130 56.37 14/ 27
Virender Sehwag 61 5238 52.38 14/ 16
Graeme Smith 72 6036 52.03 18/ 22
Matthew Hayden 103 8625 50.73 30/ 29
Sunil Gavaskar 119 9607 50.29 33/ 42
Justin Langer 65 5112 48.22 16/ 18
Geoff Boycott 107 8091 48.16 22/ 42
Herschelle Gibbs 68 5242 47.22 14/ 21
Bill Lawry 67 5234 47.15 13/ 27
Gordon Greenidge 107 7488 45.10 19/ 34
Graham Gooch 100 7811 43.88 18/ 41

With Justin Langer, Hayden formed one of the greatest opening pairs of all time. In terms of partnership runs, only Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes got more, but their average was more than four runs lower than the Australian pair. Hayden and Langer got 3567 of those partnership runs in matches that Australia won, which is a record for any opening pair.

Most prolific opening pairs in Tests
Pair Innings Runs Average stand 100/ 50 p'ships
Greenidge-Haynes 148 6482 47.31 16/ 26
Hayden-Langer 113 5655 51.88 14/ 24
Atapattu-Jayasuriya 118 4469 40.26 9/ 24
Slater-Taylor 78 3887 51.14 10/ 16
Lawry-Simpson 62 3596 60.94 9/ 18
Hobbs-Sutcliffe 38 3249 87.81 15/ 10
Chauhan-Gavaskar 59 3010 53.75 10/ 10

Hayden began his love affair with the subcontinent way back in 2001, and the relationship has stood the test of time. After that watershed series, Hayden also scored hundreds in Sri Lanka and in Sharjah (in a Test against Pakistan). Of the four centuries he has scored in this continent, at least three can be counted among his best innings. Among Australians, Hayden's record in Asia is bettered only by Border, who scored 1799 runs at 54.51 in 22 matches.

Best Australian batsmen in Asia (at least 1000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Allan Border 22 1799 54.51 6/ 8
Matthew Hayden 19 1663 50.39 4/ 8
Mark Taylor 13 1020 48.57 2/ 3
Ricky Ponting 24 1541 41.64 5/ 7
Steve Waugh 23 1205 41.55 3/ 5

Unlike many batsmen who prefer batting in the first innings of a Test, Hayden's stats are marginally better in the second (an average of 51.82 as against 50.02 in the first). Among Australian batsmen who've scored at least 2000 second-innings runs, Hayden's average is third, next only to Don Bradman and Border.

The ODI star
Hayden's Test record is admittedly more imposing, but he was an outstanding performer in the shorter version too, with 6131 runs at 44.10 - the seventh highest in terms of runs for Australia, and third-highest in terms of averages among Australians with at least 2500 runs, next only to Michael Bevan and Dean Jones. Hayden's partnership with Adam Gilchrist was worth 4503 runs, the most by any opening pair.

Hayden's big-match temperament shone through in the World Cups and in tournament finals: in 21 World Cup innings he averaged 51.94, and the story was similar in tournament finals - an average of 50.66, with seven fifty-plus scores in 17 innings. His World Cup tally is fourth among all Australians, while his average in tournament finals is highest among Australians who scored at least 750 runs in such matches.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: S Rajesh

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
S RajeshClose
S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
Country Fixtures Country Results
4th Match, Group A: Dolphins v Scorchers at Mohali
Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 local | 10:30 GMT | 06:30 EDT | 05:30 CDT | 03:30 PDT)
6th Match, Group B: Cape Cobras v Hurricanes at Hyderabad (Deccan)
Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 local | 10:30 GMT | 06:30 EDT | 05:30 CDT | 03:30 PDT)
9th Match, Group B: Hurricanes v Northern D at Raipur
Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT)
10th Match, Group A: KKR v Scorchers at Hyderabad (Deccan)
Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 local | 14:30 GMT | 10:30 EDT | 09:30 CDT | 07:30 PDT)
1st ODI: S Lanka U19 v Aust U19 at Colombo (SSC)
Sep 25, 2014 (10:00 local | 04:30 GMT | 00:30 EDT | 23:30 CDT | 21:30 PDT)
Complete fixtures » | Download Fixtures »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days