Hayden: Better Than Sachin & Lara?

Hayden: Better Than Sachin & Lara?
Australia's Matthew Hayden, just retired from representative cricket, can look back on his international career that puts him in the top-10 Test batsmen and top-20 ODI batsmen of all-time.

According to ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Ratings Hayden ranks at #10, placing him ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Sunil Gavaskar to name three great cricketers.

Hayden's Career Highlights
Hayden's highest Test rating of 935 came during the Ashes series of 2002-03 and puts him level in 10th position with South Africa's Jacques Kallis and just behind four others -- Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara and a West Indian triumvirate consisting of legends Clive Walcott, Viv Richards and Garry Sobers.

Hayden's one-day performances put him 18th in the all-time ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen with a career-high rating of 854 points, a tally that puts him level with New Zealand's Glenn Turner and just behind Sri Lanka's Aravinda de Silva.

To put this in perspective, only 25 batsmen in the history of the game have amassed 900 rating points or more in Test cricket while just 20 have passed the 850-point mark in ODIs.

Hayden's achievements in the game are remarkable. In 103 Tests he scored 8,625 runs at an average of 50.73, including 30 centuries and 29 fifties.

His highest score of 380 against Zimbabwe at the WACA in 2003 was a world record at the time. At his best, he was an impossibly aggressive and mentally strong player who loved to dominate bowling through brute force.
Hayden twice scored centuries in four successive Tests, putting him in an exclusive club of just three batsmen who have achieved that feat (the others being Don Bradman and Ken Barrington) and he passed the 1,000-run mark in a calendar year on five occasions.

He played 161 ODIs, scoring 6,133 runs at an average of 43.80. An obvious highlight was when he smashed 10 sixes on his way to an unbeaten 181 against New Zealand in the last ODI of the 2006-07 Chappell-Hadlee series.

Then, later in 2007 he was the leading run-scorer at the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, knocking off 659 runs at an average of 73.22.

Indeed, 2007 was a great year for the Queenslander which resulted in him winning the ODI Player of the Year at the prestigious ICC Awards. This accolade was made all the more significant considering a year earlier he was not even in the Australia one-day team.

Spectacular performances indeed, yet the ICC's "best ever" rankings put him way ahead of many truly deserving great cricketers.
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