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On This Day (May 19): Matthew Hayden's ODI Debut Marks the Birth of a Cricketing Legend

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Celebrating Hayden's journey as one of cricket's most revered ODI titans!

On May 19, 1993, a new chapter unfolded in Australian cricket history. A young, aggressive batsman named Matthew Hayden, with a reputation for brute force in the Sheffield Shield, walked out to bat at the iconic Old Trafford in Manchester, ready to face the English bowling attack in his ODI debut.

Little did anyone know that this strapping Queenslander, standing at an imposing 6'3", would go on to carve his name into the annals of ODI greats, amassing a staggering 6,133 runs at an impressive average of 44.04 across 161 matches.

Debuting with a bang, fading away briefly 

England captain Graham Gooch opted to bat first, leaving the visitors with the task of chasing a decent total. Hayden, alongside his opening partner Mark Taylor, got Australia off to a solid start, stitching together a 60-run partnership.

Though dismissed for a modest 29 runs (4 boundaries) off 55 balls, Hayden showed glimpses of the powerful stroke-maker he would become. Australia went on to win that match by a narrow margin of four runs, but Hayden's contribution set the tone for his future outings.

However, the following year proved less fruitful. Hayden's Test debut in South Africa yielded underwhelming scores of 15 and 5, and his ODI career seemingly stalled. He was dropped from the limited-overs team after playing just 13 matches across 1993 and 1994, with a modest average of 23.38 and a solitary half-century.


Hayden in an ODO match

A six-year wait and a glorious return

The year 2000 marked a turning point. After a six-year absence, Hayden made a triumphant return to the ODI squad at the age of 28. This time, he wasn't going anywhere. He quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with, opening the batting with a swagger and a fearlessness that sent shivers down bowlers' spines.

Over the next eight years, Hayden would rewrite the record books, amassing a staggering 6,133 runs at a healthy average of 44.04. His brutal hitting yielded 10 centuries and 36 half-centuries, a testament to his consistency and ability to dominate attacks.

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Hayden with his opening partner Adam Gilchrist

World Cup heroics and record-breaking exploits

The next eight years were a period of unparalleled dominance for Hayden. He played a pivotal role in Australia's victories at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. His 2007 campaign was particularly remarkable. He tore into bowling attacks with vengeance, smashing three centuries before the Super 8 stage.

His blistering 181* against New Zealand remains the second-highest ODI score in a losing cause to this day. He also holds the record for the fastest World Cup century at that time (66 balls against South Africa), a testament to his explosive batting style.

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Hayden in beast mode

Hayden's consistency was legendary. He surpassed the 600-run mark in a single World Cup tournament, a feat achieved by only one other player before him (Sachin Tendulkar in 2003). His aggressive batting style, coupled with his ability to score quickly (strike rate of 84.07), made him a nightmare for opposition bowlers. He was a true match-winner, a player who could single-handedly turn the tide of a game with his power-hitting displays.

Hayden's ODI career came to an end in 2008 after playing just one more season. His final match saw him survive a stumping appeal by MS Dhoni, a fitting end for a batsman who had dominated the game with grit and determination.