Former Australia batsman Mathew Hayden has said he cherished batting with Ricky Ponting every bit as much as with his great opening mate, Justin Langer.
The scenes of mid-pitch love-ins between Hayden and Langer were legendary but the big Test opener last night said his batting combination with Ponting was to him just as special.
"People talk about Justin (Langer) and my partnership because it is an opening partnership, but I reckon Ricky and my partnership was a great deal more successful and I enjoyed it just as much," News.com.au quoted Hayden, as saying to an Australian paper.
"We just spent so much time together in the middle and it was just so fun. I loved his cheeky little edge, that impenetrable demeanour and his complete lack of selfishness," he added.
"We called it the engine room it was the core of the batting unit. It was always hard to see the back of Justin but to welcome Punter (Ponting) out to the middle was fabulous," he said.
Hayden added: "I'd never talk to Ricky when he came out into the middle. He would take his guard and his only line in his first 12-18 balls was 'run hard' and 'call loud'." (ANI)