Matthew Hayden offers to step in and help solve Australia’s batting woes in the ongoing BGT Test series

By Daniel S

February 21, 2023

The visiting Australian side reportedly practised specifically to survive India’s spin attack in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) series. And, conclusively, it has not worked. The visitors have been bowled out four times out of four in the first two tests played at Nagpur and Delhi for total scores of 177, 91, 263 and 113. Of the 40 wickets, 32 have gone to the Indian spin trio of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel. The plan has certainly not worked for the Aussies while working like a charm for the hosts.

As such, while commentating in the second Test at Delhi, Australia batting great Matthew Hayden stated that he’d be more than happy to step in and solve Australia’s batting woes against India’s spin web.

“100%, at any time of the day or night, it is a given that myself — and I’m sure I speak for anyone else that I represent that would have that kind of influence. Any time I have been asked to do anything, I’ve always said yes at any time of day,” said the 51-year-old left-handed batter.

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke vouches for Matthew Hayden

Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke was of the opinion that the visiting Australian management must look out for Hayden’s expertise. Moreover, Hayden mentioned that if the management sought his help, he would ‘definitely not’ charge them.

“You can’t alienate them (former players). If you want the creme de la creme, the very least you can do is respect them. There should be a system if you’re in the CA role; how do we get the intellectual property in our players? That’s the key,” he said.

He sympathized with current Australia coach Andrew McDonald, stating that players nowadays do not have time for extensive preparations for tours.

“It’s not possible because a week before we came over here, everyone was screaming bloody murder about their superstars not playing the Big Bash League – and yet they’ve got a Test match nine days later,” Hayden said.

“This is where I really don’t envy the role of Andrew McDonald. He has to work out what is the priority in terms of his playing group, of which he has zero per cent control over a two-month period because of the Indian T20 League.

“Part of that tenure would be, ‘what do we want to win, fellas?’ Because if it’s India, we know what it takes to win there.” McDonald has said he would be open to Hayden coming into the fold if players wanted to use him on top of their existing coaching staff.

“If Matthew can add value to individual players, I’m sure those individual players would definitely engage in a conversation with him,” the coach said.