1-2-3 batsman are key to winning Ashes, says Hayden

May 23rd, 2009 - 2:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, May 23 (ANI): Former Australian opening batsman Matthew Hayden, who sees the battle between his heirs and the England opening trio as crucial to the destiny of the Ashes series, said winning the Ashes will be easy if the top three batsman click.

“Batting in English conditions, you can often go through benign stages, but not when you’re facing the new ball and it is swinging. If the numbers 1, 2 and 3 can get going, it will set the summer up for you — and both England and Australia are armed with good men there,” Hayden said.

Hayden and Justin Langer never quite fired at the same time in the 2006-07 Ashes, which Australia won 5-0, but still scored almost 200 runs more between them in the series than England’s opening pair of Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.

Hayden believes England’s opening pair has learnt from the experience and can match Australia’s opening partnership of Simon Katich and Phillip Hughes.

“Hughes has had an outstanding start to his career. An in-form Hughes and Katich is very strong and they are followed by Ricky Ponting, to whom you can’t compare any batsman on the planet,” The Australian quoted Hayden, as saying.

He noted that England’s new No.3, Ravi Bopara, has had a very impressive start to his summer with hundreds in successive innings.

“Kevin Pietersen would love Bopara to do well and lay the platform for him to come in and attack,” Hayden said.

He said he was astonished that Australia’s selectors had ignored Andrew Symonds, his former Queensland teammate.

“Symonds is a powerful cricketer and there is always a place for that in Test cricket. He can take a game away from your opponents in a short space of time, like Flintoff and Pietersen. That is a very special ability and not having him in England will be a loss.” (ANI)

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