Dispatching `fiery’ Indians every bit as tasty as dining out on the English bowling attack: Hayden

November 14th, 2007 - 2:43 am ICT by admin  
Australia were fired up to reclaim the Ashes last summer, belting England 5-0, and some were predicting a hollow feeling this time around hosting Sri Lanka and the Indians.

Far from it, says Hayden, who now finds dispatching the fiery Indians every bit as tasty as dining out on the English bowling attack.

“I think India is close on being my favourite side to beat. They’ve almost taken the number one seed off England in a lot of ways,” Hayden said today at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field.

“It’s a side that within it’s 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. 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 Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hayden, as saying.

Hayden said the Indians shot themselves in the foot by trying to match Australia’s mythical aggression levels through intimidating on-field antics, strongly denying Australia is international cricket’s bully boy.

“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,” Hayden said.

“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,” he added.

At 35, Hayden is striking the ball as well as ever and says his passion for the game is as strong as the day he first picked up a cricket bat, while the career renaissance he began with a gritty century at The Oval in 2005 shows no sign of abating.

While his age would suggest the end is in sight, the powerful left-hander says he still can’t envisage the day he hands back his treasured baggy green.

“I guess for me a marker is how much I’m enjoying hitting cricket balls. I can honestly say that when I pick up this bat and walk out, whether it be in the middle or in the nets, it’s something I still have a tremendous passion for. 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,” he said.

Hayden again kept thoughts on a possible replacement for long-time opening partner Justin Langer to himself, but did say he felt sorry for the likes of Chris Rogers and Phil Jaques as they undergo selection scrutiny.

“I feel sorry for the candidates because I’ve been there and done that as well. It’s a very difficult place to perform because you’ve not only got your own expectations, but you’ve got the expectations of your state, the selectors, the expectations of what the role has been.

“It’s a difficult place to be at for those guys.” (ANI)

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