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'Hayden was overaggressive in Mohali'

cricket Updated: Oct 28, 2008 14:27 IST
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Captain Ricky Ponting has made it known to Matthew Hayden that the opener had made a mistake by overdoing his aggression as it cut his batting stint short during the second innings of the Mohali Test against India which Australia lost by 320 runs.

Chasing a mammoth fourth innings target of 516, Hayden came out all guns blazing, took on Indian fast bowlers, particularly Zaheer Khan, and raced to 29 off 20-balls.

But Hayden did not stop his agressive batting even after the introduction of Harbhajan Singh and was dismissed by the Indian offie's first delivery in that innings.

Ponting said, in his column in 'The Australian', that Hayden should have slowed down and curbed his aggression by the time Harbhajan was introduced.

"I've made a point of talking to every player at some stage during training over the past couple of days just to see how they're going. That includes a good chat with Matty Hayden about the way he batted during the second innings of the second Test, when he took on Zaheer Khan.

"Haydos (Hayden) plays his best cricket when he gets himself locked into a one-on-one battle with a bowler. There's no doubt about that. When you see him glaring back at the bowler you know he's really up for the contest.

"He went beyond that in the second innings with Zaheer after Zaheer had dismissed him in the first three innings. Haydos wanted to put the pressure back on the bowler but he was actually through that stage," he said.

"He got to 29 and didn't need to go hard any more. He'd won that battle and there was a change of bowler. Harbhajan Singh came on and I think he could have pulled the reins in a little bit then and played a different way," Ponting wrote.

"He (Hayden) totally agreed with that and knew he had made a bit of a mistake," Ponting added.

The Aussie skipper also did not mince words that pace spearhead Breet Lee has failed to live up to expectations.

"Brett Lee's probably been putting extra pressure on himself. He was obviously disappointed after the second Test. He was one of a number of players who didn't meet their expectations, including me.

"It's important to do what he's done. Have a couple of days of reflection and then get that all out of the way and look at what he needs to do building up to this Test to give himself the best possible chance of playing well. Everything that's come out of his mouth and his actions in the past few days have been spot on.

"He's been in the gym doing extra weights and doing extra running and bowling sessions, so he's giving himself every opportunity to be ready for this game. To see him take things on like that and have a bit of an extra spring in his step about it will be great for him and hopefully rub off on the rest of the team."

Ponting said the team was fired up to bounce back in the series. "Working on the themes of what we're going to start doing, what we're going to stop doing and what we're going to keep doing, we've got a very clear idea of how to tackle India

"However, there were a lot of nodding heads at our team meeting on Sunday morning when I made it clear that it's fine to write those things down and talk about them, it is putting them into action that is the important thing," he said.