Kirsten dismisses Hayden’s remark on Zaheer

October 27th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghNew Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) India coach Gary Kirsten Monday dismissed Australian opener Matthew Hayden’s claim that fast bowler Zaheer Khan has a vulnerable temperament.Hayden said the visitors will exploit Indian pace spearhead Zaheer’s fragile temperament for the remaining two Tests in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Reacting strongly to it, Kirsten said: “He is not emotionally vulnerable. He has been an exceptional talent and great performer for India.”

Though Hayden has proved to be Zaheer’s bunny in the series, the 36-year-old burly Queenslander believes he re-opened the fast bowler’s psychological wound in the second innings in Mohali when he attempted to hit him for a six in the very first ball.

After Hayden was dismissed by Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer gave the batsman a send-off for which he was docked 80 percent of his match fee.

Hayden, who turns 37 Wednesday when Australia face India in the third Test at the Ferozeshah Kotla, revealed that his attempt to hit Zaheer off the first ball for a six was pre-planned.

“There is method behind my madness. You just don’t go out there and think, ‘I’ll hit this ball for six’. Zaheer Khan has been put under pressure a lot by myself and ‘Gilly’ in all the tournaments we’ve played in one-dayers,” Hayden said.

A young Zaheer was taken to all parts of the ground in the 2003 World Cup final by Hayden and Gilchrist after the Indian initiated a verbal fight.

“I have also tried to emulate that when we’ve played Tests. I just feel he is vulnerable when he’s like that. His temperament, as we saw, it was revealing the other day by his send-off.”

“He loses consistency and control when he does that. Even if I don’t do that for the rest of the series, it’s something that is in the back of his mind. And I can use that to my advantage,” he added.

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