Hayden: Warner can be Oz’s best opener


Former Australia batsman Matthew Hayden feels opener David Warner could be the country's best ever batsman in that position, given how well he's matured as a person and a player over the past three years.

In 2013 Warner was a bit of a joke after his bar fight with Joe Root during the Ashes, but since then his wife, Candice Falzon, has played a big role in settling him down. He famously stopped drinking after that as well, and has had two children in that time.

Hayden feels that Warner, who has scored 13 Test centuries since being recalled in mid-2013, has learned to tone down his impulses on and off the field, and is now a leader of the side.

Hayden said on the CA website: "I think he can be the best. He certainly knows now how to temper his performance and that's the hardest thing to learn.

"You can teach a lot of skills, but the mindset of a batsman is a mindset that takes time to learn.

"That's why a lot of guys might disagree with a guy like Greg Chappell, who says you can play your best cricket before you're 23.

"I think that's complete rubbish. As a batsman you need to develop your timing.

"You have a look at all the players that have come out of the last era, with the exception of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, they've all been guys who have matured into their performance.

"Davey needed to mature as much as a person as he did a cricketer and he's done that.

"He's made that transition into a family life, into a solid member of the team and he's got the temperament to play across each format of the game.

"He's a joy to watch. The living room in our house comes alive every time he comes on to bat.

"It's stop, hold the phone and watch Dave play. He's brilliant."