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Marcus Harris should play cut shots only after reaching hundred, says Matthew Hayden

Hayden, who shouldered the responsibility of opening for Australia for a long time, advised his successor to cut down his cut shot until he reached a century if he wanted to do better in Test cricket.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden. (Photo Source: Photobank77)

Victoria batsman Marcus Harris might have come up as an answer to Australia’s opening woes since David Warner’s ban but he certainly has to make more improvements. Harris made his debut in the four-Test series against India and picked up two half-centuries. However, the southpaw is getting dismissed square of the wicket a lot which made former Matthew Hayden come up with a piece of advice for the young batsman.

Harris, who has been playing first-class cricket since 2011, averages over 35 in the format with nine hundreds. He was picked for the India series as Australia were managing with stop-gap arrangements till then and he did well to score 258 runs in seven innings in the series that the Baggy Greens lost 1-2. His best score was 79 scored in the match in Sydney in which Australia escaped a probable defeat because of rain. Harris played in the first Test against Sri Lanka in which he scored 44 runs.

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Hayden, who shouldered the responsibility of opening for Australia for a long time, advised his successor to cut down his cut shot until he reached a century if he wanted to do better in Test cricket.

‘Harris needs to play straight for long periods’

“I’ve been really impressed with Harris, but I think he plays too square of the wicket for an opening batsman,” Hayden was quoted as saying by The Advocate. “He needs to straighten his game up and play straight and bat for long periods of time. And be disciplined to the point of ‘I’m not going to play a cut shot until I’m on 120 or 130’,” the former Queensland batsman, who has scored over 15,000 runs in international cricket, said. In Tests, Hayden scored 8,625 runs with 30 hundreds and owned the highest individual score for some time till he lost the crown to Brian Lara.

“It’s a mindset thing. I used to find that in the 30s or 60s I was always vulnerable because at 30 you’re just starting to break through as an opening batsman, you’ve done all the hard work and you’re starting to feel the ball,” Hayden said, adding that the batsman has to work on his mindset and get through stages of the game.

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