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Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden feels that “India’s biggest weakness is they don’t believe they can win away from home”.
Hayden’s comments come after India lost the first two Tests against Australia and have to win the next two in order to end the series as a 2-2 draw.
“India’s biggest weakness is they don’t believe they can win away from home,” Hayden wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph. “Whether it’s starting the day badly or not finishing an innings like they should – they seem to go missing at key moments.
“The noise around the team isn’t great either. Putting the food issue aside (which I think is embarrassing for Australia because grounds should be making an extra effort to provide the food the visitors require), you feel like India are searching for an excuse.”
Hayden also noted that India opener Shikhar Dhawan’s refusal to bat on the fourth day after being hit on the wrist in the nets summed up the national team’s state of mind.
“Shikhar Dhawan not coming out to bat on day four in Brisbane speaks of his mindset,” Hayden wrote. “Fear of failure is more often than not a powerful motivator and the great players like Steve Waugh use that to their advantage.
“Dhawan’s decision clearly caused confusion in the Indian camp and his troops, including M.S. Dhoni and Virat Kohli, couldn’t rally revealing the fragility of this powerful Indian team.”
Hayden also lashed out at the Indian team for trying to sledge the Baggy Greens, especially since it ended up backfiring big time.
“They’ve got a false sense of what aggression means as well,” Hayden wrote. “I think they’ve got the talent in their bowling unit to get us out but they’re inexperienced and can’t bowl consistent Test level spells.”
However, Hayden admitted that he has been impressed with India’s batting thus far.
“Australia definitely has the edge when it comes to bowling but talent-wise the Indian batsmen are on par,” he wrote. “Virat Kohli is world class – there’s an edge to his game – and Murali Vijay has gone to a new level.
“He’s patience personified blended with conventional and destructive stroke play and if Australia had him opening the batting with David Warner it would be an incredible partnership. But the rest are vulnerable.”