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News

Hayden the complete opener, says Bill Brown

Matthew Hayden has become the "complete opener" but not even his extended purple patch deserves comparison with Sir Donald Bradman

Doug Conway
11-Nov-2002
Matthew Hayden has become the "complete opener" but not even his extended purple patch deserves comparison with Sir Donald Bradman.
So says former Australian captain and opening bat Bill Brown, who played with Bradman and has just watched Hayden carve up the Englishmen in his home town of Brisbane.
"He's the complete opener now," said Brown after Hayden blazed 197 and 103 at the Gabba in Australia's massive 384-run win in the Ashes opener.
"He's strong, he can hit the ball hard and his technique is very good."
Hayden notched his seventh ton in the past 10 Tests, the hottest sequence by an Australian since Bradman scored eight centuries in 10 Tests, all against England, between 1934-38.
But Brown, who played in the first two Tests of the Invincibles 1948 tour of England, said Bradman was in a class of his own.
"I don't compare anyone with Bradman, and I think Matthew Hayden would be the last one who would want to be compared with him," he said.
"But he's certainly doing a wonderful job for Australia.
"His stroke-making has improved and his general technique as a batsman has improved.
"He gets behind the ball well and hits it in the middle of the bat.
"I haven't seen anything to approach Bradman as yet.
"The way he got them and his general batting put him in a class of his own."
Brown, who captained Australia against New Zealand in 1946 and scored two centuries at Lord's in a 22-Test career, said he hoped England would bounce back to restore some fight to the Ashes series.
"We were hoping the match up here would be more even and set the tone for the others, but they (England) have got a lot of catching up to do."
He said of England's dismal second innings of 79: "It's not an awful lot of runs is it? You can hardly believe it.
"Initially there was a lot of enthusiasm for this match but it waned as the game went on and our fellows started to get the upper hand too much.
"The rest of the games have got to be more closely fought than this one," said Brown, who will be honoured at a dinner in Sydney this month as world cricket's oldest living Test captain.