Matthew Hayden wants players like Travis Head to convert good starts into 100s.
Matthew Hayden wants players like Travis Head to convert good starts into 100s.

Haydos: No centuries means no Ashes locks

The lack of centuries means none of Australia's batsmen can lay legitimate claim to having locked in a spot for the Ashes, according to Test great Matthew Hayden.

Australia risk going through a summer of three or more Tests without a century for the first time since 1882-83 if no batsman notches up three figures in this week's second Test against Sri Lanka in Canberra - the last before the Ashes series in England.

Usman Khawaja is the only Australian to have scored a hundred in the past 12 months - in the UAE in October - but 24 other half-centuries failed to produce a ton.

"No one has scored a hundred in the Australian summer, so no one has actually got a spot," said Hayden.

"The situation is really not conclusive, I think there's still got to be water under the bridge.

"Even the two in (Travis) Head and (Marnus) Labuschagne that got 80s (in last week's first Test win), they're still 80s. That shouldn't make you feel comfortable in the dressing room.

"Your job, especially at No.1, 2 or 3, is to get a hundred every three Test matches. Yet through the summer we've had five Test matches and we haven't got a hundred."

Hayden believes that David Warner and Steve Smith should come back into the Australian side for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, but as for who should fit around them he is unsure.

Hayden, who notched 30 centuries in his 103 Tests, comes from a time when Australia seemingly scored runs at will. The team from his last Test in 2009 had 95 centuries between them.

By comparison, the side that took the field at the Gabba had 10, and they belonged to just two players - Usman Khawaja with seven and Joe Burns with three.

"I think it's a habit thing. I just think that players are potentially not in the habit of getting hundreds. They're in the habit of getting 70s or 80s," said Hayden, who has been helping raise money for farmers' drought relief.

"If this was India (not Sri Lanka, that Australia played at the Gabba) and we had the same batting process, we're not winning the game.

Usman Khawaja got Australia’s last century in the UAE last October.
Usman Khawaja got Australia’s last century in the UAE last October.

"England are going to be a formidable opponent and they are going to need to change that thinking.

"If that means being more conservative in the first hundred you get (do so).

"Then don't make a big deal out of getting a hundred, because it should be a regular thing. One in three Tests."

News Corp Australia


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