Test greats fear Haydoss exit will end Oz aura of invincibilityJanuary 14th, 2009 - 2:34 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, Jan.14 (ANI): Test greats fear that Mathew Haydens decision to retire from all forms of the game will end Australias aura of invincibility on the cricket field.
Former skipper Steve Waugh claimed that the powerful opener had “changed the face of Test match batting forever”.
Current skipper Ricky Ponting hailed Hayden as arguably the greatest Test opener the world had ever seen, while bowling legends Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne said they feared Australia could take years to recover.
“The aura the Australian team has, they have lost quite a bit more of it because Matty is not there any more. It’’s hard to replace him, because guys like him, they are invaluable. You can”t fill that experience for years,” the Daily Telegraph quoted McGrath, as saying.
Waugh said Hayden should be recognized alongside wicket-keeper -batsman Adam Gilchrist as cricketers who had challenged existing conventions to whisk Test cricket into an exhilarating new era.
Waugh, who was a key mentor throughout Hayden’’s career, claimed the opener was so good it was often embarrassing to bat at the other end.
“He was so good it was sometimes embarrassing to bat at the other end, said Waugh.
Warne claimed Hayden’’s intimidating style would be sorely missed and would be almost impossible to relace. “He had an aura about him when he went out to bat,” he said.
Hayden insisted he had not been pushed into moving on.
“I had absolutely zero fear of my position within the cricket team,” Hayden said.
“As a player I feel like I have contributed all I can.”
Waugh telephoned Hayden yesterday morning and found his good mate “totally relaxed and comfortable” with his retirement.
Waugh described the batting bully as the Australia’’s ultimate protector - likening him to the “big brother” who would always watch your back.
“He was like a big brother in the way he would look after you,” Waugh said, adding “It was like being in the school playground, if someone started picking on you, he would always look after you. Just having him on your side gave you an extra sense of security.”
“Matthew’’s great legacy will be trying to get every last ounce out of his ability. Also looking at things from a different angle with his preparation, sitting out on the wicket the day before a game, visualising how he is going to play the next day and visualising how opposition teams are going to bowl to him. That’’s all new stuff to our game,” Ponting said. (ANI)
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