Mathew Hayden scored a double hundred against India in Chennai during the 2001 tour.

Former Australia batsman and commentator Matthew Hayden has slammed the pitches being used in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy and termed them as “substandard”. In an interview with the Times Of India (TOI), the batting giant spoke at length about the poor nature of wickets seen in the series so far in Pune and Bengaluru.

Hayden also opened up about the comparisons drawn between him and Australia’s latest batting protégé Matt Renshaw. Below are the excerpts from his interview with TOI.

Substandard pitches so far…

I have already said that the Test matches were on substandard pitches. It’s strange because India are good enough to play on good surfaces which naturally break up and start to turn. The fact that Lyon took eight in the first innings of a Test match says it all.

All praises for the current Indian bowling attack…

I have played some great Indian spinners and I can tell you that this attack, too, is as good as any that I have played. These guys are world-class and can be equally as dangerous in helpful conditions. But I would specifically like to mention the Indian pacers. The performance of Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma were world-class in the first innings in Bengaluru. They provided the perfect bowling platforms for Jadeja and Aswin in the first and second innings respectively.

Matt Renshaw has stood out…

The series has been excellent in spite of once again being played on substandard pitches. These teams have fought extremely hard, particularly in the second Test match. For Australia, Matt Renshaw has made the difference in this series. He has absorbed enormous pressure on difficult batting conditions and for a man of just 20 years, he has shown class and maturity.

Importance of playing the sweep shot in India…

The sweep shot is vital to have on Indian conditions, but having said that, I conditioned myself to play the shot through 10 years of first-class cricket. So it does take time and if you are not comfortable then it is a shot which should not be forced.

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