Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day January 5, 2008

Hayden moves level with Bradman



Matthew Hayden unveiled the reverse-sweep for the first time in Tests and had mixed results © Getty Images
 

Matthew Hayden overcame a nagging thigh injury to move level with Don Bradman on Australia's list of century makers with 29. Hayden's 123 helped Australia earn a lead of 213 entering the final day and he is confident they already have enough to defeat India and secure a world-record equalling 16th victory.

"We've given ourselves the best chance of winning," he said. "We can make up time, we're in there with a shot, which is great." Hayden predicted Australia would increase the lead to about 260 before declaring but believed "we've got too many runs now".

Hayden will wait to see how bad his leg problem is in the morning before deciding how to prepare for the third Test in Perth on January 16. "I'm pretty sore and I'll just have to see how I pull up," he said. "It's the first time I've ever used a runner in a Test. It was ironic that Ricky Ponting, the captain, was running for me, I got a bit of a giggle out of that."

Ponting was called after falling to Harbhajan Singh for 1 and he was offering plenty of advice to Hayden while he batted. "I'm not sure who was doing the most talking, the captain or Michael Hussey," he said. "But I'd be an idiot not to listen."

Hayden unveiled the reverse-sweep for the first time in Tests as a way of trying to escape India's restrictive fields and had mixed results. He hit a four with the shot to bring up his half-century but fell when he tried another. Despite getting solid contact, he found Wasim Jaffer behind point to end his 196-ball innings, which included 12 fours.

Only Ricky Ponting (33) and Steve Waugh (32) have more hundreds for Australia than Hayden, who also passed Mark Waugh's career collection of 8029 during the display to become the fourth highest run-scorer in the country's history. "The Don was an incredible personality in the game and he didn't play anywhere near as much as we do," Hayden said. "But it was significant when I passed his runs and it was significant when I passed his highest score. I very humbly accept these privileges and know how privileged I am to touch Bradman."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo