ICC Super Series / Features

Australia v World XI, Super Test, Sydney, 1st day

Hayden and Gilchrist find their feet again

Both Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist scored plenty of runs on the first day of the Super Test, but their methods were quite different

On the ball with S Rajesh and Arun Gopalakrishnan

October 14, 2005

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Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist had struggled for form in the recent Ashes series, but in a more familiar batting environment, and in conditions which weren't favourable to swing bowling, both of them flourished - Hayden got his second hundred in successive Tests after not getting any in 16 matches, while Gilchrist was within touching distance of his 16th century.

Both scored plenty of runs on the first day of the Super Test, but the manner in which they did it was quite different: Hayden regularly plonked his front foot down the pitch, hitting the ball on the up through cover - 27 of his runs came in that area - while Gilchrist preferred to wait on the back foot, and then force it towards midwicket, a region which fetched him 25 runs. But when the spinners came on, Hayden seldom ventured out, while Gilchrist came down the track with aplomb.

Did Graeme Smith miss a trick in the field? It would appear so, considering the bowlers he chose to employ when Gilchrist was at the crease. Andrew Flintoff, who dismissed him four times for 85 runs (average 21.25), only bowled eight balls to Gilchrist, conceding five runs. On the other hand, Daniel Vettori, against whom Gilchrist averages 59 over the last four years (236 runs, four dismissals) bowled 36 deliveries and went for 35.

Hayden's 111 was his third century at the SCG in seven Tests, taking his average at the ground up to 52.90. If Gilchrist gets six more tomorrow, it'll be his third hundred at this ground too - his average at this ground is currently a whopping 71.63.

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo.

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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