Hayden: You have to give Afghanistan more time

Hayden was impressed with Afghanistan’s bowling and had a special word of praise for spin sensation, Rashid Khan.

File Photo: Australian great Matthew Hayden is of the opinion that Afghanistan require more time to find its feet in Test cricket.   -  K.V. Srinivasan

Matthew Hayden made a forceful point when he said, “If you look at a country like Afghanistan, working through issues, and now playing Test cricket, it’s a massive achievement.”

Even as he watched the capitulation of the Afghanistan batting in Bengaluru on Friday, the former Australian opening great told Sportstar, “You have to give them more time. They need to develop the mentality, the backbone and the nous for Test cricket.”

“Developing your batting skills for the longer format is more of a cultural thing. The methods and the mind-set are passed on from one generation to another. Remember Test cricket is the absolute pinnacle,” Hayden noted.

The Aussie added, “And in this Test that some Afghans were playing their first First Class match. And the conditions have been challenging for Afghanistan on a surface with some grass and some seam movement.”

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Hayden was impressed with Afghanistan’s bowling. “Rashid Khan can be a real threat when conditions suit him. And the two seamers moved the ball.”

Turning his attention to the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket, he observed, “We play hard but fair, but using an external object to alter the condition of the ball was not on. We have moved on from that, have a new captain and coach.”

Interestingly, Hayden said, “The whole world was waiting for Australian cricket to trip and when that happened it pounced on us.”

“This is not meant to be an excuse but we rarely get personal even when we sledge. Let me tell you all teams sledge and the imaginary line is not for Australian cricket alone,” Hayden commented.

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The Aussie elaborated. “But look at how some personal things about Warner’s wife were said to him by a South African player [he was referring to Quinton de Kock’s alleged remarks]. Warner was already embattled and now his family was being drawn into it.

“Yet, people talk only about the Aussies,” he signed off.