Chief selector Hilditch backs Hayden for a longer runDecember 30th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS
Melbourne, Dec 30 (IANS) Australia’s chief selector Andrew Hilditch backed out-of-form Matthew Hayden’s selection for the Sydney Test, saying he is central to the team’s future plans.Hilditch also said the rebuilding process was progressing well and asserted that now was “not a time for chopping and changing”.
“I don’t like testimonial Tests for anybody,” Hilditch was quoted as saying in the Australian media.
“He (Hayden) is in the side because he is in our best Australian side. That is not an issue at all for our perspective.
“He deserves the opportunities he has been given. He is having a rough trot. He is having some issues with decisions not going his way, he has had some run-outs and it has not been an easy return from injury but we are really confident he will do the job for us in Sydney.
“It’s important he is given that opportunity because moving forward we would still want him very much to be part of our plans. He is very keen to score runs in Sydney and he is as disappointed as anybody that he has not had an impact on the series against South Africa but everyone is hoping that will change in Sydney.”
Hayden, 37, has made 79 runs at an average of 11.29 in four Tests this summer and Hilditch took exception to the suggestion that his selection for the next Test amounted to a lap of honour for one of Australia’s greatest batsmen.
Hilditch said Hayden’s position would be reviewed along with everyone else’s after the current series and denied his career would be on the line in Sydney.
“It is not a time for chopping and changing a side,” he said.
“It is a time for supporting our young players as they come through. I have always said this rebuilding process comes down to senior players stepping up as Ricky did in this game.
“If the senior players perform their role, we really are very pleased with how the young players who are coming in are going. Despite the results, which are obviously disappointing, we think the rebuilding process, that is obviously a difficult one, is going well.”