Hayden and Gilchrist find their feet again
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.