The following were the several reactions to Matthew Hayden’s tremendous world record-beating achievement against Zimbabwe Friday.
Steve Waugh: “It was a phenomenal performance concentration-wise, combined with technical brilliance; the cleanest ball-striking I have ever seen. Thoroughly deserved.”
Ricky Ponting: “It was an amazing performance, and one that I will never forget. It is a credit to Matt who has just worked so hard and I am thrilled for him.”
Mark Taylor: “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. “I really got nervous for him in the 290s. It gave me a little bit of reflection back about five years ago when I was lucky enough to get to that total. When I got to 300 it was all a blur.”
Bill Brown (member of Bradman’s 1948 Ashes-winning ‘Invincibles’ side): “He (Hayden) scored quickly and technically. The innings was superb. Remarkable. I think Don, if he was here, would have appreciated the fact that records are made to be broken. ”
Geoff Marsh: “It was a truly magnificent knock. Our blokes did not bowl badly. It was one of the best innings I have ever seen. In years to come, our players will know that there was an awesome player out there who took us to the cleaners. He just bullies you — that’s what he did today.”
[Not many players involved in the third day of the India-New Zealand first Test were able to watch Hayden’s great feat, but a few did give their views to The Telegraph, some exclusively]
Sachin Tendulkar: No one can plan such a knock. It just happens.
Sourav Ganguly: I can only say it’s a stupendous achievement. He’s been a class act.
Rahul Dravid: Not fair to say anything since I haven’t watched him. I only hope he doesn’t get as many runs against us.
V.V.S. Laxman: He has been consistent and is used to huge knocks and big innings. So it could have happened any day.
Anil Kumble: Hayden obviously is a great player and his record speaks for himself.
Nathan Astle: A lot of runs... One hell of an effort.