Watching Matthew Hayden at the Supersport Park in Centurion on Thursday night, one wondered, why did he retire from international cricket? That the burly Aussie is the leading run scorer (378 runs at 48.25) is no surprise. In his 12th IPL match for the Chennai Super Kings, Hayden got his highest score of 89.
“T20 is the form I've thrived on the moment I started playing,” Hayden said. For the 37-year-old Queenslander, the IPL is all about having fun, play cricket without any pressure and earning some good money at the same time. “Some of the shots are pre-meditated, unorthodox. There is a huge element of luck as well,” the left-hander said.
In four weeks' time, he will not be part of the T20 World Cup for Australia, but that does not perturb him.
“I am enjoying my time away from the international Future Tours Programme. I will be relaxing at a beach in Australia and hopefully with a smile after having won the IPL,” he said.
Hayden may have retired from Test cricket but he has not lost the Aussie ability to talk tough.
His latest target is Sreesanth. “He is an overrated bowler. He is a great target for us as he loses his cool under pressure.” Hayden took Sreesanth apart last night, the shot over fine leg for a six stood out, before being consumed by the Kerala fast bowler. Words were exchanged between the two but the “Test and ODI veteran” that he is, Hayden “didn't want to say anything to him”.
He did not mince words even while criticising his team for sloppy work on the field. CSK may have won against the Kings XI but Hayden felt they couldn't be lucky all the time.
“There have been back-to-back dreadful fielding performances. You are not going to win the tournament if you are not going to field better. No total is defendable with the way we have been fielding,” he said.