Haydens career hinges on Oz win in Boxing Day Test

December 27th, 2008 - 12:50 pm ICT by ANI  

Melbourne, Dec 27 (ANI): Australias struggling opener Mathew Haydens career can be finished in just four days if his team fails to win against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

Haydens cricket future now hinges on the result of the second Test after he sliced a loose drive to backward point and fell to his nemesis Makhaya Ntini for just eight runs on Friday, the Courier Mail reported.

The prospects of the opener batting on past the South African series appear bleak as he has a grand total of just 56 Test runs at 9.33 this summer.

Haydens immediate future will be decided in four days because if Australia goes 2-0 down in Melbourne he will almost certainly be axed or retire ahead of the SCG Test.

Prolific left-hander Chris Rogers and New South Wales young gun Phillip Hughes are the replacement candidates, with Rogers leading the race because of his vast experience of more than 10,000 first-class runs.

Former Australian opener Phil Jaques will also be waiting in the wings next year after recently returning to the practice nets following a back operation.

If Australia wins the current Test, or if Hayden makes big runs in the second innings, he is likely to cling on to his baggy green cap for the SCG Test on January 3.

Former captain Mark Taylor, who was Haydens opening partner during the 1996-97 tour of South Africa, believes the Queenslander has dropped out of touch with alarming speed.

Matthew Hayden in good form would have hit that ball through the covers. Its a cruel game batting at the top of the order. Four or five Test matches ago that ball would have whistled through the covers. Now his confidence is down and there is discussion about whether he should be in the side or not, Taylor said.

Haydens latest failure was his lowest score at the MCG in six years, since he scored one against England during the 2002-03 Ashes series. (ANI)

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