The Ashes August 17, 2005

Openers say Hayden should stay

Cricinfo staff



Andrew Flintoff clips Matthew Hayden's leg stump to continue his lean run © Getty Images

Two of Matthew Hayden's high-profile predecessors believe the opener should hold his position despite missing a century in the past 28 innings. Mark Taylor said Hayden needed to convert his starts into big scores while Geoff Marsh told him to "hang in there".

Taylor, who had an horrific struggle for runs in the lead-up to the '97 series, said Hayden was being troubled by late movement that hindered his driving down the ground. But he told The Australian Hayden's poor run was nothing on his. "I don't think for a minute Matthew Hayden is going as badly as I was in that time," Taylor told the paper. "He still seems to be making some useful contributions. He's making a lot of 30s and 40s. He just needs to convert one of those starts into a score."

Marsh partnered Taylor at the end of his career and is a former Australia coach who closely monitored Hayden's progress. "He's scored runs but just hasn't gone on and got a big one and I think that's working mentally on him at the moment," Marsh said. "He's just got to hang in there. I certainly wouldn't be thinking about making any changes on this tour because he's been such a great player."