Last Update on: May 10th, 2020 at 06:39 pm
Whenever the history of Australian cricket will be written, the name of the burly, broad-chested opener from Queensland, Mathew Hayden will always find a special mention.
Matthew Hayden was one of the bedrocks of the Australian batting-unit that dominated world cricket for the major part of the first decade of the 21st century. Hayden made his way into the game at a time when everyone was accustomed to watching openers grind it out in the middle until the ball lost its shine.
But Matthew Hayden was a different beast. The burly opener, much like Virender Sehwag, believed in taking the sheen off the ball by dispatching it to all corners of a cricket ground. Hayden believed in walking towards the fiercest of bowlers and putting them to the sword. Hayden, in many ways, was an instigator of a whirlwind change in the attitude of modern-day opening batsmen.
Matthew Hayden opens up about the impact of Tom Cruise on his career
But do you know, the left-hander was himself inspired by a Tom Cruise iconic movie- “The Last Samurai”. Matthew Hayden, in a recent conversation with Shane Watson on his podcast Lessons Learnt With The Greats, revealed that the movie had a major impact on his career as he learned to completely shut off the past and focus on the present; something that became his biggest strength- of focussing on the next ball- during his career.
“There’s a stillness and a beauty in batting which is a mediation in itself that we all miss, still to this day, that connection purely around having nothing but an empty vessel to work with so that you can absorb and retain information quicker,” Matthew Hayden was quoted as saying by foxsports.com.au.
He added: “Because it’s all about that reaction time. It’s about the early pick-up, it’s about being really settled with the conditions. It’s about being confident and personally satisfied. These are really difficult things and they’re the 101s of meditation. You don’t get any of those elements right and before you know it your mind starts going in 1000 different directions, often to what it shouldn’t be.”
Matthew Hayden made his debut way back in 1994, before playing his second Test in 1996, only to be dropped after six games. He returned to the side in 2000 and after a breakout tour of India in 2001 where he scored more than 500 runs, he never looked back, finishing his career with an average of 50 in Test cricket and 44 in ODIs.