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"I think India is close on being my favourite side to beat," he said. "They've almost taken the No. 1 seed off England in a lot of ways. It's a side that within its psyche has amazing highs and amazing lows. So it doesn't take long to realise they're at a low when you're standing in front of 70,000 people at a stadium and you can hear a pin drop. It's a great position to be in and you know you've got them beat."
Hayden and the Australian team had plenty of those moments on their tour earlier this month. Though they lost the last two games, including the one-off Twenty20 game in Mumbai, the Australians dominated the first six ODIs and eventually sealed the series 4-2. Hayden had a good time too, scoring 290 runs in five innings, including three successive half-centuries.
Hayden said he had nothing personal against the Indians. "Our ambition is to keep their crowd as quiet as we possibly can and just play good cricket. It's not a personal thing."
The series in India was also highlighted by plenty of verbals from players of both sides, and Hayden said India's aggressive approach had fired him up for their return visit to Australia, which includes four Tests and a triangular one-day tournament also featuring Sri Lanka.
Denying the criticism of aggression directed at the Australian team, Hayden said: "I think it's one of the greatest misconceptions of this side ever, that it's aggressive. I think what we are, it extends from our culture, is just having a great mateship and camaraderie within any kind of team.
"You put any 12 blokes together and you'll get a job done. Whether it's getting a bogged four-wheel-drive off the beach or standing in front of a cricket wicket and making sure we're in a dominant position. It's the same dog, different leg action, so to speak. I think it shows an insecurity to do anything else other than that. All it really does is just amp up the intensity of the way we play our cricket. It's a good thing for us.
"You never want an Australian with his back up against the wall. We saw that last summer against England, you're seeing that now with this verbal jousting that's happening between India and Australia. And that's exactly where we want to be. We're very comfortable in that position. We want to get into that position because that's when we play our best cricket."
Looking ahead at his own career, Hayden, who will turn 36 on October 29, said: "I almost feel like it's an undying passion at this stage. And until that starts to waver, I can't see myself finishing. And I know that's a ridiculous thing to say but at this stage I'm not going anywhere."