Melbourne, Jan.22 : Australian opener Matthew Hayden who has scored 307 runs at an average of 76.75 in the current series against India, has declared himself fit to confront India and crush the opposing side's determination to level the series in Adelaide.
Having out of the Perth Test with a hamstring injury after playing for Australia in 86 consecutive Tests, the prolific opener said that Australia is nowhere near giving up its champions status to India or any other country despite losing the Test at Perth last week.
"I feel comfortable where I am at with my hamstring and I have prepared like I would for any Test. Right now I am ready to go. I am in pretty good shape. Even at the WACA on the last day I was up around 85 per cent," The Australian quoted Hayden, as saying.
Countering Sourav Ganguly's claim that the Indians were the better side this summer and were poised to dethrone Ricky Ponting's unit as world champions, Hayden said: "There is no other side in the world that comes close to us when we are playing at our best."
"Ultimately we are still 2-1 up in the series so I am not sure we are bottom-dwellers just yet," added the 36-year-old opener.
Countering Indian bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad's boast that the tourists' attack was now the "best in the business," Hayden said: "We will see. We have a very talented side. It is unbelievable. A week ago cricket was boring because Australia was so dominant."
Hayden tipped Brad Hogg to regain his spot in the fourth Test line-up.
"I would have thought Hoggy will definitely come back into the line-up but I am not a selector," said Hayden.
He also believed that fast bowler Shaun Tait would have much to offer in the Adelaide Test and beyond.
"Our challenge as a batting side is to bat like we know we can and that means doing nothing different, the same things we do day in day out leading into every Test," Hayden said.
Story first published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008, 12:17 [IST]
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