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Over the years, Matthew Hayden has gained the reputation for using the long handle to good effect, and at IPL 2010, he will literally be doing just that. The former Australia star is set to use the innovative Mongoose bat, with a blade that is 33% shorter and a handle 43% longer than the conventional bat. Despite the modifications, the bat’s dimensions are within ICC’s weight and size stipulations. Hayden will not be the first batsmen to wield the Mongoose – Dwayne Smith, Azhar Mahmood, Stuart Law and Lou Vincent have used the radical blade in domestic tournaments, though it is yet to feature in international cricket or the IPL.
Despite its radical dimensions, the Mongoose is said to generate more power and speed than the normal bat. Hayden has been working with the manufacturer to customize the bat to his requirements, and early signs are that he has taken a liking to it – he was clearing the ground effortlessly on Chennai Super Kings’ first day of practice at their home-base. In particular, Hayden was pleased with the big sweet spot and the thicker edges that meant a higher chance of hitting boundaries.