Sydney, May 5 : Matt Hayden is back in Test mode, and certainly not interested in casting jibes at Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, though he would be justified in doing so after the recent encounters between Australia and India in Australia.
Playing a straight bat in Brisbane, where he is attending a training camp ahead of Australia's tour of the West Indies, Haydos diplomatically referred to Bhajji Gate as a closed chapter, but referred to the latter's Slap Gate' as a "pretty disappointing thing."
"I just think we've all tried to move on from anything to do with taking a backward step in the way last summer went on. No regrets from us at all.The only regret in saying that was we could have performed a little bit better. We won the Test series, but the one-day series was a comprehensive win by India in a two-match final and that was not acceptable for us," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.
The world champions head to the West Indies on Saturday for a three-Test tour before playing five one-day internationals over seven weeks. The five-day training camp at Allan Border Field is designed to have the 15-man Test squad ready to hit the ground running for their sole tour match before the Test series starts in Kingston on May 22.
Hayden is among several in the Test squad who played in the IPL and felt it had helped repair fractured relations with India.
"It's been an incredible experience. It's been one that's broken down the cultural barriers that perhaps existed through the course of this summer but also, more than anything, it's been a hell of a lot of fun to play in," Hayden said.
Jaques, who watched the IPL from home, said he was keen for the challenge to put more space between himself and other contenders after comfortably slotting into Justin Langer's position.
"I've freshened up. Now it's business time. I was not guaranteed a spot this time last year. I had to work really hard to make that spot mine. In the short-term at least there's a little bit of breathing room, but everybody's got to perform day to day and keep raising the bar," he said.
Story first published: Monday, May 5, 2008, 17:24 [IST]
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