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Aussies hail Hayden feat
October 10, 2003 20:49 IST
Australia captain Steve Waugh led the tributes to Matthew Hayden after his world record Test innings of 380 against Zimbabwe on Friday.
"It was a phenomenal performance concentration-wise, combined with technical brilliance, the cleanest ball-striking I have ever seen," said Waugh after Hayden surpassed the previous record of 375 set by West Indies' Brian Lara in 1994.
Former Australia captain Mark Taylor, who shared the national record of 334 with Don Bradman until Friday, was commentating for Channel Nine television on the match.
He said: "I don't think you can diminish any innings like that.
"All right, a Test match hundred against Zimbabwe is probably not as good as a Test match hundred against say the West Indies in their hallowed days of the 80s.
"But to go on and make a score of 380, to do that takes special concentration and takes fitness. I always knew Matthew Hayden had that."
Bill Brown, a member of Bradman's 1948 Ashes-winning 'Invincibles' side, said Bradman would have been proud of Hayden's world record innings.
Bradman is considered the game's finest batsman with a peerless average of 99.94 in 52 Tests including 29 hundreds. Bradman died in 2001 aged 92.
"He scored quickly and technically," Brown said of his fellow-Queenslander Hayden. "The innings was superb. Remarkable."
Bradman held the world record of 334 from 1930 until England's Len Hutton made 364 in 1938. Bradman's score remained a national record until Hayden's 380, although Taylor scored 334 not out to equal Bradman's score in 1998 against Pakistan.
"I think Don, if he was here, would have appreciated the fact that records are made to be broken," Brown said.
"It's almost inevitable that someone would come along and break the record. He's a really nice guy and it couldn't have been done by a better fellow."
Hayden's parents Laurie and Moya were holidaying with relatives on Queensland's Gold Coast.
"We've just been sitting down absolutely glued to the (television) set," Laurie said. "The last two days have been mind-boggling, really."
Hayden's wife Kellie told Channel Nine: "It just doesn't seem to be real to me at the moment."