Neil Harvey calls for Hayden’s scalp

January 3rd, 2009 - 7:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 3 (IANS) Former Test great Neil Harvey has joined the chorus to drop out-of-form Matthew Hayden from the Australian team after Hayden again failed in the first innings against South Africa here Saturday.Hayden’s prolonged form slump continued as he got out for 31 at the Sydney cricket Ground in the third and final Test.

The 37-year-old Queenslander looked a pale imitation of the batting monster who has brutalised some of the world’s best attacks.

Hayden was at the crease for over two and a half hours, facing 78 balls before getting out to a reckless shot to Dale Steyn.

“He is a pain in the bum,” Harvey said at a 50th anniversary reunion of the 1958-59 Australian side that regained the Ashes.

“Hayden at 37, what I think what he should do is head on down and say, ‘I have had enough’ and quit. I thought he was pathetic today.

“He wasn’t trying to score runs and he had forgotten how to hit the ball, and at his age he is not going to get any better, is he?

“He has been a good player, but he hasn’t been a great player in my opinion,” Harvey was quoted as saying in the Courier Mail.

Many might disagree, considering Hayden has amassed 8,555 Test runs, at an average of over 50, and his 30 Test centuries have been surpassed by only two Australians, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh.

But Hayden has struggled for runs since an Achilles injury sent him home from the West Indies in 2008.

In nine Tests since then - four in India, two at home against New Zealand and the current three-Test series against South Africa - he has scraped together just 344 runs at less than 23.

His five innings against Graeme Smith’s visitors have yielded just 78 runs at less than 16.

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