Updated February 20th, 2024 at 19:54 IST

'INDIA IS A CHALLENGE for THIS REASON': Hayden highlights why teams struggle in India, it's not spin

India entered the Vizag and Rajkot Tests without key players like KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, yet they emerged victorious convincingly.

Reported by: Vishal Tiwari
Former Australian batter Matthew Hayden | Image:PTI
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Former Australian opener Matthew Hayden has thrown his support behind India to clinch victory in the ongoing five-match Test series against England. Hayden lauded India's dominance at home and their ability to pose a significant challenge to visiting teams. Despite India's recent slip-ups in home Tests, they bounced back strongly, particularly in Vizag and Rajkot, where they outclassed England.

Matthew Hayden underscores why India is a tough place to tour

India entered the Vizag and Rajkot Tests without key players like KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, yet they emerged victorious convincingly. Initially labeled as an 'under-strength' squad, India witnessed new heroes rising in every session of the third Test match. Following their 106-run win in Vizag, India achieved their largest-ever victory margin in terms of runs in Rajkot, triumphing by a massive 434 runs and taking a 2-1 lead in the series.

Matthew Hayden expressed his belief that India holds a significant advantage in the ongoing Test series against England. Hayden emphasized the mental challenge posed to visiting teams in India, particularly with the intense involvement of the local crowd. 

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Hayden compared the experience of playing cricket in India to a mental and physical battle, where players must carefully manage their energy and resources. Hayden highlighted the need for a focused and composed mindset to cope with the constant pressure and demands of the game, both on and off the field.

"I think it's India all the way. I was looking at the result this morning and thought that India, as a touring side, is a challenge for this reason. It's a battle of energy and conservation of that resource, which is very limited," Matthew Hayden told Star Sports.

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"The game, the spectators and the country just keeps coming at you. There's this great energy in India, especially in winning against England, and you can put Australia on that list as well, especially now. You have to be a guru and have to have a mindset of stillness just to be able to survive mentally there. You have already seen England this series get in front of games, but not be able to sustain it. And it is because of the relentless nature of having to turn up every moment, every ball, every session," Hayden added.

Despite England's failure to capitalize on advantageous positions in the last two Tests, captain Ben Stokes and his team remain optimistic about their chances of turning the series around. The upcoming fourth Test in Ranchi, scheduled for February 23, promises another intriguing chapter in the battle between India and England.

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Published February 20th, 2024 at 19:54 IST