Matthew Hayden, who, as it currently stands after two Tests averages less than Shane Warne and Brett Lee, writes for the Telegraph this morning:
Watching an event like that unfold is far more taxing on the blood pressure than actually taking part. During the chase, a fly on the wall in the players’ viewing area would have spotted Jason Gillespie and Simon Katich marking the runs off in multiples of five on the back of a newspaper, with Stuart MacGill demanding everyone be quiet as “nervous talk wastes energy”. Adam Gilchrist was not daring to look and thrusting his attention to a magazine, while Ricky Ponting, Justin Langer and I sat silently trying to wish us more runs.
After the game, we spent some time with England in their dressing rooms, then had a quiet team meeting where John Buchanan and Ricky emphasised their pride in Shane, Brett and Michael’s fine efforts.
We briefly discussed the week ahead and some of the things we will do to swing the momentum of the series back into our favour.
One of those things will be the best way to combat Flintoff. He was outstanding throughout. For the crowd to see him and Shane Warne at their best would have been a true highlight.
For a long time now the cricket world has been waiting to see us in a real dogfight. Well, we truly have that fight on our hands now, and that’s something that we won’t shy away from.
I’m confident that it will inspire our group to be at their very best. After all, that’s the true test of a champion team. We have wonderful self-belief among our group and I know that it won’t take much for us to be back at our best.
We’ll see if this “champion team,” fast becoming a Hayden cliche, live up to their hype.