Legendary Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden has backed Aussie skipper Steve Smith on the Decision Review System controversy, which happened in the Bangalore Test. The 45-year-old Queenslander also believed that his home team did not seek instructions from the dressing room on a regular basis.
In an exclusive discussion with Sportstar, Hayden said, “I take Smith for his word. I believe what he said. Fifteen seconds is not enough to get a message across and back from the dressing room.”
Hayden looked at Smith’s watch, who waited for just 15 seconds and Matthew feels that this time was not sufficient to get feedback from dressing from. He added, “Look, it is over so quickly, in no time!”
He also said that things spoken on the field should stay in that area and if one takes it outside that area then the media gets involved and the matter becomes even more difficult. The Aussie legend stated, “Once you take it outside the playing arena, then the media gets involved, the Boards come into the picture, everything gets magnified.”
He said about sledging, “All teams sledge. And if you ask me, verbal sledging is only 10 per cent of the total package. Just look at a scenario where the batsman is under no pressure. Whatever words you say to him would hardly matter to him. He would just ignore them.”
Hayden further added, “Unless you create the stress, this includes the way you go about things on the field, how aggressive your body language is, verbal sledging has little value. Some people might disagree with me but I can tell you from my experience that this is true.”
Former aggressive opener congratulated both the Indian cricket board and Australian cricket board for their efforts in putting down the DRS issue.
Hayden stated, “I think the two Boards acted well to nip the issue in the bud. The ICC and the match-referee too handled the matter capable. And we could see the effect of that today, there were no incidents here.”
He recalled the ill-tempered Monkey gate 2008 series, which series brought up the two boards very closer. Hayden said on this, “That series in 2008 actually brought the two Boards, India and Australia, closer. There is a lot more trust between them now.”
There is a natural hostility between India and Australia, felt Hayden. The legendary batsman further added, “There is intense competition out there. India is the No. 1 Test team and Australia is No. 2. India wants to remain at the top while Australia wants to get there.”
When asked to compare Harbhajan Singh with R. Ashwin, Hayden said, “It’s hard to do that. Their styles are different, their methods are different. Today, batsmen are more expensive, spinners tend to bowl flatter. I would not rate one over the other.”
Hayden also heaped praise on Steve Smith for his batting technique and said that he appreciated his batsmanship. He further added, “His technique is very different from a lot of others. But his record is remarkable at home and overseas, in different conditions and situations. And he can change the tempo well. At the end of the day, only the runs matter. And he is making a lot of them as captain.”