In an article for Fox Sports Australia on their website on Monday, former Australian international and Tasmanian cricketer Brett Geeves let fans in on one of the most committed efforts by an Australian Test player in recent memory.
While writing about how important preparation is for a tour like the one Australia will soon embark on for a four-match series against India, Geeves outlined the amazing work of Matthew Hayden on the eve of the 2001 series.
"Before the 2001 tour, Hayden spent six months without sleep hitting sweep shots on a ruggedly prepared practice wicket that emulated the conditions waiting for him in India," Geeves wrote.
"The sleep thing might be covered in pepper, but I am told that Hayden would replicate a full day’s play by having spinners bowl to him for two hours from 10:30 to 12:30 — before stopping for a 40 minute lunch and going again for a two-hour session.
"After a 20-minute break for scones and tea the final two-hour session wrapped his day of practice at 5:30.
"This level of preparation gave Hayden access to an average of more than 100 for the series and provided a blueprint for Australians to find success on Indian wickets. It also kickstarted one of the great Australian cricket careers."
Hayden played in 103 Tests for Australia between 1994-2009, making 8625 runs at an average of 50.73.