Australia v South Africa, 3rd Test, Sydney January 1, 2009

Hayden quiet on retirement talk

Cricinfo staff

Sign of the times: Matthew Hayden is not looking past the Sydney Test © Getty Images

Matthew Hayden has admitted he has not considered retirement despite growing speculation over his career following an extended lean spell. However, Hayden, who scored only 47 runs in the opening two games of the series defeat to South Africa, has refused to look beyond the third Test in Sydney starting on Saturday.

Hayden was picked to open despite the strong claims of the state batsmen Phillip Hughes, Chris Rogers and Michael Klinger. Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, has begun to hear calls for his sacking after persevering with the 37-year-old Hayden, who has 313 runs at 22.35 since returning from a heel injury in India.

Hayden said he hadn't thought about stepping down. "I'm not sure going after you lose a series, in the middle of the series, would be the right time to go," he told AAP. "There's absolutely no doubt about that. So I didn't think about it for a minute.

"Two-nil down in the series, five days of cricket left, Australia need to play well and I need to be a part of that. And then whatever comes after that, that's a new day."

Hayden said he understood that he needed to get runs. "But I think there's a lot more facets to your game than just pure runs and I think experience in the side does make a difference," he said. "As part of my role I see this next five days, no matter how the result goes for me individually and us collectively, it's very important to gain the level of perspective that a 15-year career can hold in a dressing room."

Glenn McGrath, whose charity foundation will benefit during the Sydney Test, said he would pick Hayden in any Australian team. Pink stumps will be used during the match and supporters have been encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness of breast cancer. McGrath's wife Jane died as a result of the disease last year.