Exit not on Hayden's mind yet
At 37, Matthew Hayden knows this might be his last Test on his home ground in Brisbane, but he is refusing to outline an exit strategy. Hayden will appear in his 99th game on Thursday and while he remains in the selectors' plans for next year's Ashes, he is being more careful following his recovery from a lingering heel injury before the India series.
"When you get to my age, you get to a point where the next 12 months is a long, long way away," he said. "But having said that, I've been really process-driven right throughout my career. It's all been about how I was going to present myself for this Test and whether I was in good shape to play it. I feel like both of those are crossed off."
Hayden struggled in the opening two matches against India last month, but hit back with 83 and 77 in the final two games to finish the series with more belief. "I had some question marks and I was a bit down on confidence, because I had six months out of the game," he said. "The achilles injury I did suffer was a serious one and I guess it took a few boxes to be ticked for me to start playing my best cricket."
The team has changed a lot over the past two years and Hayden and Ricky Ponting are two of the greats remaining from the previous era. He said the extra responsibility may be a factor in how long he continues to play in all forms of the game.
"My passion for one-day cricket or Twenty20 cricket hasn't died," he said. "All the best players in the world play all versions of the game. As far as I'm concerned, I want to present myself for every facet of the game until I feel like there's no more fire in me to play any of those forms."